Dogs and cats go missing every day, but Seattle startup PetHub wants to help discover those wayward canines and felines via the power of technology. The three-year-old company, maker of a QR code pet-finding tag that attaches to a pet’s collar, just landed $375,000 of $750,000 round.
Part of the funding is coming via angel investor network Zino Society, which invested $50,000 in the startup after it won the organization’s Zino Marketplace competition. Other backers include Rudy Gadre, the former Facebook general counsel and Amazon exec, who has been actively bankrolling startups in the Seattle area in the past 12 months.
PetHub founder Tom Arnold tells us that about a third of pets will go missing during their lifetimes, and only about five percent have location-finding microchips. With the QR-code enabled pet tags, Arnold said that lost pets can be recovered more quickly. The IDs contain critical information, including multiple contact numbers and pet health data.
“Our physical pet ID tags allow anyone with a phone — smartphone or regular — to access a pet’s online profile. Think “Facebook for Pets,’” says Arnold, noting that 62 percent of U.S. households own a pet.
In addition to expansion in the U.S. and Europe, PetHub plans to roll out new technology next month, including new software services. The company makes money by licensing its tag technology to existing tag manufacturers and selling optional premium subscription services. The tags start at about $10, with silver and gold membership levels which cost $39 and $49 annually.
Arnold was a guest on GeekWire’s “Elevator Pitch” show last year, telling us a bit more about how he wants to help pet owners find lost dogs and cats. His 6-person company has raised about $1.5 million to date, and has filed patents on the technology. It plans to break even by the end of the year.
Previously on GeekWire: Finding Fido in France: PetHub expands pet-finding ID tag service to Europe