Petnet showed off a $250 Smart Feeder to feed your pets automatically and measure health metrics for the animals.
Yes, dogs and cats want to get in on the Internet of Things, or making everyday objects smart and connected. Connected pet devices were plentiful at the 2015 International CES, the big tech trade show in Las Vegas where Petnet showed its wares.
“You get automated feeding, alerts, and notifications, and feeding insights about what your pet is consuming,” said Carlos Herrera, chief executive of Petnet, in an interview with VentureBeat at CES.
Herrera said Petnet gives you actionable data, like how consistently you feed your pet the correct amount of food. It needs to offer more, since dumb pet feeders cost only $5 to $50.
A mobile app allows you to monitor your pet’s status, control the feeding schedule, and assign the correct portions for your pet. You can also remotely feed the pet, and you can reorder pet food from Petnet through the app. It learns about your pet over time, giving you better food suggestions and calculating the calories your pet is eating. It holds about seven pounds of food, or around two weeks’ worth.
Los Angeles-based Petnet has an interesting business model. Not only does it sell the $250 Smart Feeders. It also sells its own brand of pet food.
“We sell this device and make recurring revenue of about $25 a month [per user] from the sale of food,” Herrera said.
Right now, the Smart Feeder is in beta. In the first quarter, it will move into Amazon and Apple sales channels. Over time, Herrera wants the Smart Feeder to be sold in large pet store chains. He also wants to move on from serving only dry food to serving wet food. Petnet will eventually integrate with other sensor systems like Google’s Nest and capture data such as weight.
The American Pet Products Association estimated that spending in the U.S. in 2014 hit $58.51 billion, up from $55.72 billion. That’s a big opportunity, and it’s why Petnet has funding. The company raised $1.125 million last year from Grishin Robotics, Kima Ventures, SparkLabs Global Ventures, and Launch Capital.
Rivals include Nibbles, Feed and Go, and Bistro.