Yesterday Petcube, a US-based startup with Ukrainian roots, announced that it has completed a $10 million series A round from several investors, including Almaz Capital, AVentures Capital and Y Combinator.
Petcube, which has developed a pioneering connected pet device, says it will use the investment for product development and marketing, as well as to enlarge its distribution networks in North America and on the global market.
Labeled by Emma Watson as “life-changing” earlier this year, the company touts itself as revolutionizing the global petcare market.
“There are a number of other smart devices for pets, for example people use security cameras or even combine a laptop with skype to watch on their pet,” Petcube founder Yaroslav Azhnyuk said in a previous exchange with Ukraine Digital News.
“But none of the players with a significant size directly competes with us; our device is the only one to allow you to interact with your pet by talking and playing with it,” Azhnyuk claimed.
Big Data from pet behavior
In an exchange with online publication CNBC, Azhnyuk said that Petcube is working on developing deep learning software that can analyze the huge quantities of pet videos going through connected cameras.
Such data can tell a lot about animal behavior in connection with the pet’s health issues and moods, the entrepreneur believes.
“We are starting to think about our potential to be helpful to research institutions, much like Google, Twitter or Facebook have become over the years,” he added.
Petcube’s interactive cameras are currently available in over 18 countries through more than 5,000 offline outlets in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific, as well as through Petcube’s own website and Amazon.
Last year, the startup announced its partnerships with Media Markt and Saturn in Europe, leading US pet retailer Petco in the US, Softbank in Japan, and Petbarn in Australia.
Currently, Petcube enjoys over 100,000 clients, who spend 50 minutes per week on average talking to their pets via Petcube’s devices.
Earlier this year, the startup acquired Canadian pet monitor maker PetBot for an undisclosed amount.
Ukrainian-American success story
Headquartered in San Francisco with offices in Kyiv, Ukraine and Shenzhen, China, Petcube initially received more than $250,000 from Kickstarter backers in what was “one of the most successful crowdfunding pet products in history.”
The startup then received a grant from the Global Technology Foundation (GTF) in Ukraine, and several millions of US dollars in several rounds from such funds as AVentures Capital, Almaz Capital, SOS Ventures.
Petcube was part of the Y Combinator Winter 2016 class.
In early 2016, Almaz Capital, AVentures Capital and YCombinator already injected $2.6 million in the startup.