By Spencer Feingold
A new startup that aims to connect prospective dog owners with responsible breeders and shelters announced it raised $6.7 million on Tuesday.
The New York-based company, Good Dog, will be the first platform that uses expert-backed vetting to modernize and simplify the process of buying a dog.
“Right now, it is often a nightmare trying to get a dog,” Josh Wais, the company’s co-founder, told Cheddar. “Over half of all U.S. households have a dog yet the process is stuck in the past.”
Good Dog received funding from investors including BoxGroup, Felicis, Slow Ventures, Fuel Capital, BarkBox, and SV Angel, as well as, major angel investors.
The company’s centralized platform offers a Learning Center, which educates future dog owners on everything from how to ethically and responsibly get a dog to which breed is right for you.
Good Dog also uses veterinarians and other experts in the field to vet breeders and shelters to ensure transparency and accountability. Customers then submit an application to one of the providers through the site.
“When people get their dog from a breeder, if they are not well versed in what they should be looking for, they may end up getting their dog from a puppy mill,” Wais said. “We’ve actually gone and vetted every single breeder that is in our community.”
Wais added that while the company encourages buyers to get dogs from shelters and rescue centers, the platform does include breeders in an effort to reach the entire market.
“We’re not going to change people's minds in mass to all of a sudden to stop getting dogs from breeders,” Wais said. He added that by creating a more responsible market of dog breeding, less animals will end up in shelters in the first place.
“It is really about trying to fix the overall system rather than just trying to help people get a dog from a shelter or rescue,” Wais said. “Although we always encourage that has something to look at first.”
Breeders are not allowed to pay to be featured on the platform and customers pay a small fee when they buy a dog from a breeder. There is no fee for dogs bought from shelters through Good Dog.
“It quickly became clear that this was a totally broken process, opening up a massive opportunity within the $72 billion dollar pet market,” David Tisch, managing partner of BoxGroup and Good Dog chairman, added in a statement. “Good Dog is positioned to become the authority in dog ownership, helping to streamline each step of the process.”
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