An alarming number of pet owners in India often abandon their pets when they find it difficult to cope with the increasing costs of keeping their pets healthy. Pune based Sixth Sense Retail, a startup that runs pet healthcare and wellness platform Wiggles, aims to solve that problem. The barely one-year old startup has just raised $1 million in an angel funding round from a group of HNIs (high net worth individuals) to take it closer to that goal.
Investors in this round include Nachikhet Deshpande, chief operating officer, L&T Infotech; Aparna Badkundri, director, Dell Computers; Sachin Phadke, managing director, Vetbiochem India; Abhay Amrute, senior partner, IIFL Wealth Management; Satish Billakota, vice president, Europe, Cognizant; and Rishi Tanduulwadkar, founder, Solo Stem Cell Clinic, among others.
The company will deploy the fresh funds to strengthen its presence, operations, distribution and expand its product range and introduce more stock-keeping units (SKUs), it said in a statement.
Founded was founded in 2018 by father-daughter duo Anushka Iyer and Rajh V Iyer, a serial entrepreneur, and Venky Mahadevan, a technology professional.
The platform aims to introduce transparency associated with costs, medication, nutrition and wellness across the pet industry. Its flagship product Wiggles Box contains anti-parasitic medicines, nutritional products and essential vitamins for one’s pet which is backed by personalised alerts through the app that ensures the pet never misses a dose. Their in-house veterinarians also create tailor-made treatments for pets and send it across to pet parents when needed.
The startup manufactures and retails a wide range of quality healthcare and nutrition products like de-wormers, spot-on, anti-tick powder, herbal shampoos, calcium supplements and liver tonic, among other pet essentials products.
Wiggles also offers services such vet-on-call and grooming, which are currently available in Mumbai and Pune. It plans to launch its services in Hyderabad and Udaipur shortly and is focused on creating a brand with pan-India presence, the statement added.
Wiggles’ products are currently available across the country on ecommerce platforms Amazon and Flipkart. It competes with Dogsee Chew, TailsLife, PetSutra and Heads up for Tails, among others, in this segment.
“In a short span of time, Wiggles has enabled pet parents to become stress-free by means of our Wiggles Box. We have experienced a 40% growth month on month once our products and services went live in June 2019 and have seen a 4 times return on costs,” Anushka Iyer said.
The pet care segment has seen a number of startups spring up over the past few years and some have been able to draw investor interest as well. In September this year, New Delhi-based pet care and products retailer Heads Up for Tails (HUFT) raised $ 10 million in seed funding round. Earlier in February last year, PetBuddy Products, owner of PetSutra, had raised Rs 95 lakh in an angel round of funding. Gurugram-based Petsglam Services, known by the brand Dogspot, is one of the earliest players in the space and counts Tata Sons chairman emeritus Ratan Tata as an investor.