I have wanted to invest in startups for a few years now but I’ve never met the requirements to be an accredited investor which are basically, “be rich”. So I’ve always just kept working hard and squirreling money away into other long-term investments like 401Ks, IRAs, REITs, and so on.
Enter the 2012 Jobs Act. That Act finally unlocked things for “the rest of us”. The Jobs Act allowed us not-elites to finally be able to invest in the startup world. Those of us who love entrepreneurs and innovative business ideas finally gained the opportunity to invest our money in their future. Compared to going to Kickstarter in exchange for a product, I get to “kickstart” growth in young, innovative businesses to help other entrepreneurs achieve their dreams and have a real opportunity for financial gain in the end. Seems better than getting my name put in another indie video game as “contributor”.
What pets have to do with startups will make more sense in a minute.
My mother was always the most happy when she was around dogs. When I was a kid, it was Tessie.
Not Tessie, but pretty close!
Tessie was a dozens-of-times award-winning Samoyed. It seemed like every couple of weekends my mother and my sister would pack up the dog, all the grooming supplies and other show needs, and leave early Saturday morning and then come back on Sunday in the late afternoon. They would unload Tessie, all her grooming and show supplies, several ribbons usually “1st Place”, a camera bag full of rolls of film for my dad to develop, and all the “dog show swag”. Tessie was invited to Westminster at least once but legend has it that mom, who was always pretty stalwart, was too nervous to go and called it off. Our family continued showing but eventually mom’s business took off, Tessie passed away, and one passion was replaced with another.
About a decade ago, mom got the spark again. This time it was the Bolognese breed. His name? Giotto.
Unlike the last picture, that IS Giotto!
Giotto was from European champion stock and registered on the American Kennel Club’s Foundation Stock for rare/ultra-rare breeds. He was a chance to not only breed and show dogs again, but to contribute to a small and growing movement to build the Bolognese breed up into a fully-recognized AKC Breed Standard.
She traveled to Texas, Amsterdam, Minnesota, Hungary, Belgium, and other US states and European countries, meeting with breeders, trainers, groomers, and other pet service providers. She bred Giotto with other champion stock and was part of a small international working group of dog breeders who had dedicated themselves to the breed. She showed him at local events, ultimately winding up with several awards and lots of photo ops. She also kept a growing kennel and, in the last couple of months leading up to her losing the battle with cancer in the Spring of 2013, the hardest thing for me wasn’t seeing her in the hospital or at home, but seeing her teary-eyed joy every time one of her dogs was placed in a great home. She was so happy that they wouldn’t be left behind without love.
80 million households in the US have pets and the pet industry is projected to be worth $70B this year. On the one hand, I want to invest in startups positioned to change the future of their industry. In the other, there are a ton of startups out there, where could I begin? I thought about where my small investments might have the most impact, remembered how happy my mother’s passion at changing the future of an entire dog breed made her, and thought about how amazingly-passionate millions of other people are about their pets.
So I invested in FetchFind. FetchFind provides turnkey training solutions for pet businesses. I spent a few days digging around through other pet care companies and felt like they’re innovating in the space by focusing on pet care providers instead of on consumers, where the market is already saturated. They provide broad and deep training on recruiting, onboarding and retaining staff and customer acquisition, and have also integrated job boards and job search. They recently acquired PawedIn.com which connects pet owners with local pet service pros and allows you to read and post reviews.
They’re seeing continuous growth in users, subscriptions, and course enrollment. It might not be a “10x unicorn OMG it’s the next SNAP-TWIT-BOOK!” but, and here’s the thing: they look really solid. I like solid, well-positioned companies when it comes to investing my money whether it’s stocks, funds, real estate, you name it. Squaring that approach to risk with wanting to invest in startups is difficult, but with FetchFind it just feels right. They’ve got a great existing business and some wonderful ideas for the pet care world.
So anyway, if you’re like me and you’ve been looking for great companies to invest in, I urge you to check out FetchFind as one option.
I think you’ll be happy you did.
This post does not constitute investment advice and you should always do your own due diligence before investing in anything.