Featured Startup Pitch: Petnostics’ iOS app enables pet parents to check on their dog’s or cat’s health from home

By Editor April 28, 2014

Stephen Chen, PetnosticsBy Stephen Chen, Petnostics founder

Elevator Pitch: Petnostics allows pet owners to check their pet’s health, instantly. Pet parents simply collect a urine sample from their dog or cat with the Petnostics cup, and along with Petnostics’ free iOS app, they can quickly determine if their furry friend potentially has a urinary tract infection, diabetes, or other ailments.

Product/Service Description

By using Petnostics’ patented urine collection cup with colorimetric chemical test strips on the lid, pet owners are able to monitor their pet’s health anytime, anywhere. The Petnostics cup provides the same quality urinalysis that a veterinary office offers, but with the ease, convenience, and cost savings of a do-it-at-home system.

Pet owners simply collect urine in the special Petnostics cup, and once sealed, the test strips on the lid will begin to change colors. With a free app from the Apple App Store, pet owners can use a smartphone or tablet to read the test results. The Petnostics app will inform pet owners whether the animal has any potential diseases or ailments, such as a urinary tract infection, dehydration, or diabetes.

Petnostics allows pet parents to monitor their pet’s health conveniently and with accuracy. Most importantly, it allows for early detection and intervention. If Petnostics indicates there is a health issue, pet owners can take their animal to a veterinarian to begin immediate treatment, as it is always better to prevent an issue or disease by catching it early on rather than treating it at a later stage.

Petnostics lid

Founder’s Story

Growing up with dogs in my family, I always viewed my furry friends as part of the family. After working for a medical device company for five years, I realized there was an opportunity to create innovative products for pet health. Building upon that realization, I wanted pet parents to be more involved with their pets’ health, and so Petnostics was born. By allowing pet parents to conveniently perform the same urinalysis tests that vets perform in their clinics, I want pets and their parents to be able to live a healthier and happier life together.

Marketing/Promotion Strategy

Besides selling directly to consumers on our website, we’re currently marketing our products through pet stores in and around Los Angeles. We’re also in discussion with large pet distributors to carry our product. Ultimately, we will also market our product through vets, as we are currently implementing a vet referral system in our app. This will point pet parents to the closest and most suitable vet for their pet based on the results obtained with our test. This referral system will also help vets gain access to a wider range of clients. Another avenue we plan on pursuing is through partnering with pet insurance companies. Giving pet insurance companies more health data regarding the pets they cover will enable them to better design health programs around at-risk pets. With a better understanding of the risk of their overall pet pool, pet insurance companies would be able to offer their customers incentives (such as lowering premiums) to perform our tests.

Petnostics box

Market Opportunity

The U.S. pet market is a $52.9 billion industry, with half of that spent on vet care and supplies. With 165.3 million registered dogs and cats in the U.S., the potential market for pet urinalysis is tremendous. Other competitors include ThePetCheckup and PawCheck. Both these competitors sell home urine test strips that are read manually (visually), which can oftentimes be read inaccurately.

How We Differentiate From the Competition

A couple of competitors come to mind in the pet space: ThePetCheckup and PawCheck. Both of these companies use traditional urinalysis strips, which leave results up to interpretation, as users have to compare the color of the strip manually to a color chart. Our solution takes the guesswork out of the analysis, replicating the same results that professional urine analyzers (that costs hundreds of dollars) give out by simply using one’s smartphone and associated camera. On top of that, by being app-based, we can then layer on additional features that make the overall experience more convenient (for example, sharing results with vets and finding local vets nearby).

Business Model 

We currently rely on a ‘razor-razorblade’ business model. By making the Petnostics app available for free and selling the Petnostics cup as a consumable item, we’re able to generate recurring revenue through the sale of our tests. We also plan on offering a monthly subscription package so that pet parents can automatically have a test arrive each month. This not only makes it more convenient for the pet parent, but it also increases the lifetime value of a customer.

Current Needs

We are currently looking for distribution partners to help sell our product nationwide and worldwide.

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Petnostics logoHeadquarters: Los Angeles

Website: www.petnostics.com

Founder: Stephen Chen

Investors: Bootstrapped

Year Founded: 2013

Twitter: @Petnostics

Facebook: facebook.com/Petnostics

CrunchBase: crunchbase.com/organization/petnostics

AngelList: angel.co/petnostics