Leap Venture Studio is Thrilled to Announce its Sixth Cohort of Innovative, Europe-focused Pet Care Startups
The world’s first and largest global pet care startup accelerator, Leap Venture Studio, is excited to announce its latest cohort of seven brilliant pet care startups. 4 of the 7 startups are female founder-led — bringing our total to 27 female founder-led companies globally! Each startup is working towards the common goal of improving the lives of pets and their people.
This year, for the first time, Leap Venture Studio will be working with a region-specific focus. The pandemic has influenced pet ownership patterns across the world. In Europe, specifically, the trends are quite compelling. The European pet care market was valued at $35.7 billion in 2020 and is projected to grow at 4% CAGR for the next 5 years. Pet ownership in the region surged during the pandemic; an increase of 10% was recorded in 2020 from 2018. 88 million households in Europe had at least one pet. Cat ownership was higher than dog ownership, and the UK dominated the pet care market in the region.
Higher pet ownership, change in demographics of owners (from boomers to millennials), and the growing popularity of cats, calls for increased demand for novel solutions. For these reasons and more, Leap has extended its reach to Europe to support the pet care startup community and back innovative solutions for pets and their people.
The response we received to this year’s program announcement was overwhelming. Applications from European startups were up by 3x from the previous year, with representation from 13 countries across the continent. After a series of pitching, deliberations, and due diligence, seven innovative startups have made it to the final cohort this year.
Here are the startups joining the program this year:
BorrowMyDoggy: BorrowMyDoggy (UK) is an online community matching dog owners with local borrowers for walks, sitting, and holiday care.
HiPets: HiPets (POLAND) is a SaaS-enabled all-in-one marketplace for pets. They maximize experience for pet parents, pets, and service providers, especially vets.
Marleybones Limited: Marleybones (UK) produces a range of tailored, sustainable meals for dogs on a subscription basis with relevant add-ons with novel shelf-stable preparation and packaging.
Moggie: Moggie (UK) is the world’s first chat communication & health device for cats that translates actions and behavior into human dialogue and understanding.
people who kær: (Germany) people who kær creates effective supplements for prevention and treatment of the most frequent diseases for dogs.
Rex: Rex (Germany) is building beautiful modern veterinary practices embracing modern technology and convenience we expect in our lives.
YSA WELL: Petty Well (France) offers natural meals for pets, perfectly adapted to their needs, with a home delivery system, in the form of an ultra-flexible subscription for both cats and dogs.
Leap Venture Studio represents the commitment of Michelson Found Animals and Mars Petcare, to foster solutions that improve the lives of pets and their owners. Once again this year, we will follow a hybrid learning approach, in which in-person activities will take place in London; the rest of the program will be conducted virtually. This will help founders balance the program with their business. “This year we are thrilled to be working for the first time with a region-specific group — in the early stages, companies are built by the ecosystems around them, and we’re excited to dive deeply into the European pet care ecosystem. Pet parenting challenges pivot around geographical, social, and cultural complexities; these can best be solved by those who empathize with these problems. Leap aims to back those companies who are bringing innovative solutions to the European market and beyond,” said Rachel Sheppard, Director of Ventures at Mars Petcare.
All seven companies will receive tailored support from our award-winning partner, R/GA Ventures. A curated team of strategists, technologists, designers, and consultants from R/GA Ventures will work with each startup to elevate their business plan and prepare them for their fundraising goals. US$200,000 will be given as an initial investment amount to all startups upon selection to the program.
At the end of 12 weeks, companies will have achieved significant progress in their business, which they will present to investors, industry leaders, and the startup community on Demo Day, December 15.