When people ask me what is a “Baltic diaspora startup”, the example I usually give is Dogo. A Berlin headquarted startup, with three Lithuanian and one Estonian co-founder plus a development team in Kaunas, Lithuania, they are the prototypical startup that takes advantage of Berlin’s thriving startup ecosystem and the Baltic states top tech talent. Back in 2019 when we first met the Dogo team they had launched their app for dog training only six months earlier and were already #1 in the USA in organic searches for dog training. Now there is no question that they are the number one dog training app in the world, led by a new generation of dog owners that can’t imagine having a new pet without an app that helps guide them through the journey of pet ownership.
Change Ventures is excited to lead Dogo’s $3M seed round that will fuel global growth, accompanied by a great group of co-investors including Monkfish (former Trivago founders), our dog-loving friends from Vilnius Justas Janauskas (formerVinted CEO) and Gabija Grušaite, as well as prior round investors Leap Venture Studio and APX.
1.2 million puppies are born every day in the world and they all need training to be socialized in the human world. Traditional dog training schools are expensive and inconvenient, while YouTubers telling you how to train dogs do not provide personalized feedback. Pet ownership has skyrocketed during Covid — a recent UK survey estimated that 2.1M households in the country had collected a new pet during the pandemic, with a further 1.8M planning to do so. Millenials are treating their pets more like children, buying supplements, organic pet food and toys for their pets and the “pet tech” industry is booming, as described in Sifted’s recent report on the industry.
With Dogo, dog parents can teach their dog more than 100 fun tricks, take part in longer training sessions, learn how to socialize their pups with other dogs, and more. Dog parents are part of an engaged community of other dog parents and trainers, and get 24 hour support from the Dogo team, including dog training professionals who review training videos to give feedback. The app is available in 12 languages and is used by over 4 million dog parents, earning it both the coveted Editor’s Choice Badge in the Google Play store and a place on Apple’s Ones to Watch app list.
We are excited to support Dogo’s efforts to grow into one of the leading pet tech franchises in the world.
Andris K. Berzins