Why we invested in Fi — the smartest dog collar

Why we invested in Fi — the smartest dog collar

https://tryfi.com/

One of my good friends Lylan Masterman shared their teaser deck with me early last year and I’m a dog person so I was definitely interested to learn more. I grew up with dogs in suburbia, always being a little hesitant to let them out in the yard because I think most dogs have figured out how to get out / dig under the fence and run away at some point.

Market

There are over 70M dogs in the US and the average household spends over $1000 a year on them, which makes the TAM ~$70B, though smaller for products like this but growing nicely. If you’re a dog person, this doesn’t sound too crazy to you.

Problem/solution

Many of my friends with dogs generally get them a chip but that’s the analog way of finding a dog, should someone find them and get them scanned. We live in a digital world now though and you should be able to track your dog in real-time, with a device that can last over a month, not just a few days. You can also track your dog when your walker takes them out or if you’re curious how many steps (exercise) they get.

Team/founders

When you invest pre-product/revenue on something that isn’t planned to be ready for over a year, you’re betting on the team to execute and figure it out.

Jonathan Bensamoun CEO — a phenomenal product visionary. He was on the early product teams at Shopkeep, Square and Handy, so his roadmap was very robust and he delivered on all of it.

Loren Kirkby CTO — consumer hardware technology expert. Was employee #1 at Dropcam and was there Chief Architect through the $500M+ acquisition by Nest (Google).

The Product

This is a pet tech startup and Fi makes the best smart collar using the latest LTE-M technology to offer the most reliable tracking device on the market for pet owners. The collar is designed to provide dog owners with a better-looking option for their pet, built with a battery that can last over a month between charges.

My dog with the Fi collar

We invested in their seed round pre-product/revenue that was led by Lerer and they just closed their Series A led by RRE.

You can check them out at http://tryfi.com and read more about them here:

Fi’s GPS pet tracker lasts three months between charges

Some of our recent investments: peelawaylabs.com / stickerpop.co / journeymeditation.com / uizard.io

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Why we invested in Fi — the smartest dog collar was originally published in Hacker Noon on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.