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PetCloud looks to crowd as it seeks $2m for business growth

Business

Brisbane-based PetCloud has turned to crowdfunding to raise $2 million for expansion.

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The company, founded by Deb Morrison, with the RSPCA as a groundfloor partner, provides a web-based link between pet owners and sitters as well as a dedicated pet taxi and other services.

Morrison is avoiding the traditional equity raising methods because she wants to avoid losing control and because she encountered a gender bias in previous funding rounds. Instead, PetCloud will use equity crowdfunding platform Birchal.

PetCloud started in 2015 and has been benefitting from a growing demand for pet services and products.

The RSPCA has estimated there were 29 million pets in Australia and more than $13 billion spent on pet services and products. It also found that about 60 per cent of pet owners considered the animal to be part of the family.

Dog owners spent the most. The RSPCA estimated they spent an average of $1627 per animal each year.

Globally, people spent about $130 billion on their pets.

Morrison said Australia had one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world and PetCloud satisfied a growing demand by tapping into the gig economy to ensure that all “pet parents” can access trusted pet care in their community.

“With pet ownership on the rise, spending on pet care and services is also on the up. Overall spending on pets in Australia has gone up every year since 1994 and it has grown 4.6 per cent annually over the past 10 years, which is three times faster than overall consumer spending,’’ Morrison said

“For PetCloud, even with COVID slowing momentum last year, net sales tripled from 2017-2020 as the platform grew at a compound annual growth rate of 48 per cent, while active users on the platform have risen by 44 per cent on average year on year.”

Morrison came up with the idea when she couldn’t find anyone to look after her dog while travelling for work. She sold her home to fund the launch of the site in 2015.

While PetCloud has had success with seed rounds in recent years including investment from F45’s founding investor Marc Marano, and Scale Investors, who invest in female founders, one of the main reasons she launched a crowdfunding campaign was to level the investment playing field.

 

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