Home / Companies / Start-ups /  DogSpot raises funds from Ratan Tata, others

New Delhi: PetsGlam Services Pvt. Ltd that runs online pet supplies store Dogspot.in on Monday said Ratan Tata, chairman emeritus of Tata Sons Ltd, has invested in the company as part of a fund-raising round. The company did not disclose the amount raised.

Dheeraj Jain, partner at Redcliffe Capital, a UK-based hedge fund, existing investors Ronnie Screwvala, K. Ganesh and early-stage investment firm India Quotient were among others who invested.

The company aims to use the money to expand its private label product range. It currently sells biscuits, treats and grooming products under its own brand and plans to further expand the portfolio by launching variants within these categories. The company has so far raised close to $1 million in multiple rounds from angel and seed investors.

According to DogSpot founder Rana Atheya, the company currently gets 30-35% of its sales from private label and aims to double it in a year. The company will conduct the research and development for these products, which will be contract-manufactured by third-party units. It currently works with seven such units and will tap eight more in nine months, said Atheya.

“We see great opportunity in dog food side. The target is to offer more healthy food good for pets. Private label is necessary because if I ask you to name five brands catering to these needs, it will be very difficult for you. Consumers do not have enough options in the market which leave a huge opportunity for us," Atheya said, adding that DogSpot products would stress on transparency of ingredients used in the products.

“Things like biscuits currently available in the market are made of maida which are not good for pets. We plan to launch products made of different flours such as peanut flour, corn flour etc. The target is to have 20% market share in three-four years," he said.

The pet food market in India is likely cross $270 million by 2019 on account of increasing number of nuclear families, particularly in urban areas and rising per capita disposable income, according to a report by research firm TechSci Research.

Mars International is the leading manufacturer and supplier of pet food products in India, offering products under Pedigree, Royal Can and Whiskas brands. Some other pet food firms operating in India are Provimi Animal Nutrition India, PetSetGo and Bharat International Pet Foods.

Atheya said his company would expand its grooming range in view of of the needs of different breeds. “We will launch variants of shampoos and conditioners depending on the length and texture of the pet’s hair," he said, adding the products would be competitively priced.

Biscuits would be in the range of 100-500 for one kg pack, while treats would be sold at 150 for 100 gram pouches. Shampoos and conditioners would be available for 200 for 200 ml bottles.

DogSpot offers products across 12 categories such as food, biscuits and treats, grooming, health and wellness, bowls and feeders, collars and leashes, toys, flea and ticks cleaning, crates and beds, training and clothing and accessories.

It claims to have over 2,000 products from over 50 brands such as Pedigree and Royal Canin apart from its own private label products.

For logistics, it has partnered with Delhivery and FedX, apart from Wizard, a hyperlocal firm.

Currently, the company generates almost 150 orders a day from its portal and aims to increase it three fold in the next one year.

Apart from its own website, Dogspot sells through other online marketplaces such as Amazon, Flipkart, Paytm, BigBasket and Shopclues. Recently, it also tied up with veterinary and grooming outlets to sell its products.

However, it claims that currently, over 90-95% of its business is coming from its own website.

The e-commerce website was launched in August 2011 by the husband-wife duo of Rana and Vizal Atheya.

The company is also in early talks with private equity firms to raise a Series A round, preferably in the range of $6-10 million. It also plans to launch experiential stores consisting of a grooming parlour, veterinarian, pet store and a garden for visiting pets under one roof by mid-2017.

“The target is to have 5-6 such stores by mid of 2017 and 100 of them by 2018-end," said Atheya. “Unlike western countries where the pet population is stagnating, India is increasing 25% year-on-year."

“The average household size has gone down to 4.4. Especially in cities like Gurgaon, there are lots of couples with no kids. People are adopting pets as a de-stressor," he added.

The company gets almost 90% of its business from dog products and the rest from products for cats, reptiles and birds.

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