Friday Funding: An AI Companion for Your Pup
By: James Flippin · April 20, 2023 · Reading Time: 3 minutes
Your New Companion
Much has been made about the cost of petcare — and the sky-high salaries dog sitters and walkers can demand. But now a company is betting AI can provide a cost-effective solution to this industry, too.
Companion is a startup developing an AI-powered robot to serve as a nanny for your pet dog while you’re out of the house. For $49 per month, Companion will keep an eye on your dog, helping to keep them stimulated and entertained.
What Does It Do?
The main capabilities of this robot include dispensing treats, engaging through voice commands, and monitoring your dog’s health. It achieves this by using computer vision to monitor your dog’s movement and posture so that it can interpret their feelings and respond accordingly.
Companion raised $14 million to continue developing its robotic dog babysitter. The main backers in the raise include Lerer Hippeau and Digitalis Ventures. The startup has also developed an impressive advisory board, loaded with veterinarians who specialize in the human-dog bond.
Where Can I Get One
To avoid loneliness during the pandemic, Americans went overboard adopting new pets. Now that families are loaded with new furry friends, spending in the pet care industry is soaring. Experts at Morgan Stanley expect it to hit $277 billion by 2030, which would mark a 134% spike from 2019 levels.
A golden rule of parenting is to never leave your child home alone. Companion is betting that this feeling will carry over to dogs — so long as a viable alternative exists.
If you’re interested in getting a Companion for your pup, be sure to get your name on the waitlist . The product is scheduled to begin shipping in May 2024.
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