Pet services platform PetCloud has launched a $2 million equity crowdfunding campaign via Birchal to give investors an opportunity to own a slice of the booming industry.
The Brisbane-based platform offers a raft of services to travelling or time-poor pet parents including pet sitting, house sitting, dog walking, doggy day care and pet taxis.
CEO and founder Deb Morrison said the raise was a rare chance for investors to buy into the homegrown startup that is growing rapidly on the back of a pandemic-induced boom in Australian pet ownership.
"Australia has one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world and thanks to the pandemic, which reminded us how much we need pets in our lives, even more Australians have welcomed a pet into their home," Morrison said.
"At last count, there were around 30 million animals living in two-thirds of Australian households.
"With more pets than people in Australia, pet services will always be in demand. PetCloud satisfies this growing demand by tapping into the gig economy to ensure that all pet parents can access trusted pet care in their community."
According to Morrison, overall spending on pets in Australia has gone up every year since 1994 and has grown 4.6 per cent annually over the past 10 years three times faster than overall consumer spending.
"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 said.
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The platform was founded in 2015 after Morrison sold her house to launch the website. Since then, RSPCA Queensland was brought on board as a part owner of the company, giving the group some cash to accelerate its growth.
"Right from the beginning we partnered with Australia's most respected animal welfare charity, RSPCA Queensland, to ensure that PetCloud is the most responsible and caring pet platform in Australia," Morrison said.
"All our sitters, walkers and drivers have had police checks, are trained in animal handling and insured. They are also animal-lovers who go above and beyond to look after other people's pets as if they were their own.
"PetCloud is home to more than 120,000 of Australia's most passionate pet people."
The equity crowdfunding builds on success PetCloud has found in private investment, including from F45's founding investor Marc Marano and Scale Investors, who invest in female founders.
Morrison said she turned to crowdfunding in order to continue to scale up the startup while retaining its social impact status.
"One of the most important aspects of a crowdfunding campaign is that it allows us to grow the business in a way that won't compromise its core values of being a social impact organisation and also ensures that PetCloud remains Australia's most trusted pet services platform," Morrison said.
"As a social impact startup, PetCloud has a positive impact on the lives of people and pets. Every day, we hear stories from PetCloud's community about how working with animals has enriched their lives whether it has helped someone struggling with depression find work that gets them out of bed in the morning or given a single mum or senior some financial freedom."
Expressions of interest in PetCloud's equity crowdfunding campaign are only open for a short window until 7 June 2021.
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