Grad Profiles highlight the personal and professional stories of Founder Institute Graduates from across the globe.
This profile on PetHub, a Graduate of the Seattle Founder Institute, was written by Emma Tzeng and edited by the Founder Institute staff. Founded in 2010 by Tom Arnold, PetHub provides GPS tracking and personal identification for pets.
Nowadays, location-based technology makes it possible to track nearly anything, from our smartphones, to our favorite food trucks, to our friends’ whereabouts. It only makes sense that this same technology also be applied to the four-legged, furry companions that we hold near and dear to our hearts--our pets.
Every year, six to eight million animals are taken into shelters, and only one percent of these cats and 12 percent of dogs return to their original homes and owners. Seattle-based PetHub wants to lower the number of shelter-bound animals by helping pet owners keep a watchful eye on their pets.
PetHub stores an animal’s digital paw print, which includes the owners’ contact information and the pet’s medical background and dietary needs, into a unique QR code printed on an ID tag. Owners affix the tag on the pet’s collar so as to essentially ensure that the pet is identifiable at all times. If the pet ever wanders too far from home, a passerby can simply scan the QR code on its PetHub ID tag and retrieve the animal’s individual online profile.
For enhanced tracking, PetHub’s Silver and Gold subscribers are sent an email notification after someone finds their lost pet. If the QR code was scanned with a smartphone, the notification email will also include the GPS location of the pet at the time the code was scanned. Silver and Gold subscribers also have access to a toll-free hotline, which is printed on the pet’s ID tag and offers a 24/7 “Found Pet” support. Lastly, Gold members have access to emergency pet insurance of up to $3,000 for injuries to the pet while away from home.
PetHub’s basic plan requires a one-time subscription fee of $12.95. Silver and Gold memberships, on the other hand, are billed monthly.
Founded in 2010, PetHub is the brainchild of former Microsoft software project lead Tom Arnold. During a business trip to India, Arnold worried about his two cats back home and began brainstorming ways to fuse mobile technology with pet tracking and identification.
Since then, Arnold has grown PetHub into a full-fledged business. In fact, as of June 2012, PetHub reports a user base of over 50,000 pet owners. To this day, the startup continues to grow and leverage new technology to help more concerned pet owners care for and protect their pets.
From June 2012 to August 2014, PetHub has received four rounds of funding, from 1.3 million dollars from a seed fund, to 1.7 million dollars, 256,070 dollars and 300,000 dollars from venture funds.
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