Despite a decline in venture capital investments last year, 2016 was a record year for venture investments in pet tech startups.
As the CB Insights chart below shows, the amount of venture capital investments in pet tech startups is up 4 fold over the past 5 years.
As CB Insights explains in their article New Breed: Pet Tech Is Seeing Investor Interest Take Off pet tech includes:
... companies whose core business is using tech-enabled solutions to serve the pet owner market. This broadly includes e-commerce and subscription startups targeting niche pet retail; hardware startups providing food, training, toy, waste management, and tracking solutions; and mobile app and/or software-based platforms that connect pet owners with pet service providers (e.g. dog-walkers, veterinarians, shelters, grooming services, etc.)
And based on the continuing growth in pet spending, it seems the investors behind these deals aren't barking up the wrong tree.
The chart below is an update of a chart we did for our 2011 article The Amazing Growth of the Pet Industry. It shows pet industry spending grew again in 2016, reaching almost $63 billion.
It's not just VCs and startups focusing on the pet industry. Large companies are also investing in the pet industry.
The candy and pet food maker Mars for example, recently bought the pet hospital company VCA for $9.1 billion dollars. That's a lot of M&Ms. A key reason for doing this is the pet industry is growing faster than the human food industry.
Expect this to continue. See our Pet Trends section for more this topic.