With pet market projecting to grow to $500 billion, Dosty looks to become industry’s super app

July 1, 2024


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Sometimes pets can be a mystery to their parents. What do they feel, what symptoms do they have, how healthy are they? These questions are piling up in Europe where pet ownership has surged by more than 50% since 2020 in countries like the United Kingdom, Germany, and France.

It’s also true that overall pet ownership in Europe varies significantly by country. Poland leads with 48% of households owning pets, closely followed by Romania at 46%, both among the highest ratios in Europe. Germany also has a substantial pet population, with around 25 million pet dogs and cats, marking it one of the countries with the highest number of cats and dogs in Europe, according to data from pet tech startup Dosty

Long story short, the average European has an extra mouth to feed and care for. That also involves insurance and vet care. Morgan Stanley predicts that pet insurance will experience rapid growth, noting that the industry saw an annual growth rate of 26% in the US between 2017 and 2021. In Europe, while the market is smaller, it is expanding quickly. Valued at €2.92 billion in 2021, it is projected to grow at an annual rate of 9.2%, reaching €5.48 billion by 2028, according to a report by Blue Weave Consulting.

So what do pet parents need now? Surprisingly (or maybe not), more data. While there are many pet tech startups addressing a wide range of needs, from insurance to organic food, to reducing ecological footprints, in the data space there are some interesting cases like Riga-based mobile assistant Dosty. 

What makes this startup different? Not only does it offer a system with breed standards for over 360 breeds and widgets for tracking weight, food, and finances, Dosty is also developing a GPT model chatbot chatbot to give personalized advice based on each pet’s unique history and needs. 

But its most innovative approach comes from its business model. According to Ayaz Ahmadov, CEO and Co-Founder, they are not aiming for a subscription-based model, something very common among this type of startup. “Our goal is to attract as many users as possible to the app, taking advantage of the extensive data we gather to offer targeted and helpful advertising,” he says.

So instead of generic ads, they plan to deliver native, relevant advertisements. “For example, if you own a cat, you won’t see ads for dog products. If your cat is healthy, you won’t see ads for antibiotics. Instead, you’ll receive ads for cat-friendly places if your cat travels a lot. This targeted advertising ensures that the ads you see are useful and relevant to your pet’s needs, adds Ahmadov.

The pet super app

Dosty’s founder is the proud pet parent of three Labradors and knows what he is talking about when discussing all things pets. He comments that often, being a pet owner means having to install multiple apps on your phone to manage everything. So the idea of creating an all-in-one app came together from his personal experience. 

While in the past few months there has been a lot of pessimistic talk about Elon Musk’s objective to turn X (formerly Twitter) into a super-app, one could think that at least in the case of pets, this is possible. 

Ahmadov has an interesting point here: “While we might not want super apps for everything in our daily lives due to privacy and other reasons, the pet care industry seems perfectly suited for one.” He adds that pets are a significant part of our lives but are still a third party. “So having one comprehensive app to manage all aspects of their care makes sense. It streamlines everything and makes it more convenient for the pet owner.”

What type of data does Dosty have about pet owners in Europe? From their 10,000 users, a significant finding is that 72% of them fall within the 18 to 25 age bracket. Through Dosty’s team research, they’ve discovered that many of these young adults lead active lifestyles and often seek support in managing their pet’s needs, such as feeding and care, amidst their busy schedules. 

“They rely on platforms like Dosty to provide this support and alleviate the stress of making critical decisions, especially concerning health issues. This awareness allows them to make informed choices, such as whether to treat a pet’s minor ailment at home or seek veterinary care,” mentions Ahmadov. “Understanding these user behaviors underscores the value of our business model. By leveraging this data, we can tailor content and advertisements to better serve their needs.”

The insurance data puzzle

Not only does Dosty act as a trusted ally that ensures important aspects of pet care are managed efficiently, but it also allows users to focus on enjoying quality time with their pets while staying informed about their well-being through timely notifications.

On top of that, the data brings transparency to the table. For what? For veterinary and insurance matters. Dosty’s CEO explains that in this way insurers can review your pet’s health records, such as vaccination history and regular check-ups, to assess claims accurately.

“This transparency allows insurance companies to make informed decisions about coverage. If something unfortunate happens to your pet, having a comprehensive record of their care can strengthen your case for reimbursement,” adds Ayaz. 

Dosty’s statistics on average age and pet ownership accurately reflect the current state of the industry. Insurance companies prioritize data such as history of illness and treatments, which can be recorded in Dosty’s medical card, offering better-tailored advice for pet care and lifestyle. Vaccination records, prescription history, and additional data on nutrition, walks, and lifestyle are also crucial. Dosty can maintain these records, provide reminders, and adjust to specific insurance company criteria, enhancing transparency and aiding in the claim decision process.

This ensures that pet parents can effectively manage their pets’ insurance needs while maintaining a good relationship with insurance providers.

Regarding partnerships, they are actively exploring collaborations across various sectors. Their goal, mentions Ayaz, is not just to excel as a pet care app, but to pioneer a new era in the industry. “We aim to create optimal conditions by partnering with insurance companies, startups, and advertisers who can reach our user base effectively,” says.

Ultimately, this approach ensures that Dosty remains not just functional but emotionally resonant, reflecting the understanding of what truly matters to pet owners. Building a sustainable ecosystem benefits all stakeholders involved. 

This article includes a client of an Espacio portfolio company


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