We are excited to announce the investment by the Jenson SEIS and EIS Fund 2017/18 into Tailwise Limited.
Tailwise, a platform matching dog buyers with responsibly bred dogs, is on a mission to improve animal welfare in the UK through technology. The London-based startup is a staunch supporter of Lucy’s Law –a legislation to ban the sale of puppies by pet shops and all commercial third-party dealers– and helps breeders find the best homes for their litters, whilst giving new dog owners transparency and guidance throughout their search.
Launched in 2017, Tailwise received early-stage investment from angels and the Jenson SEIS and EIS Fund to further develop the product and grow the core team in London. Tailwise was formed after both founders experienced the ugly reality of purchasing a dog in the UK.
According to 2016 research by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), between 770,000 and 1,500,000 puppies are purchased every year in the UK.
Dog seekers have two main options for purchasing a dog: either find one through online classifieds; or try to find, research and contact a breeder. However, these options are not hassle-free and come with big, often stressful, risks. When buying online there is a significant chance of a dog being sourced from unethical puppy farms leading to huge vet bills and heartache in the future.
The BBC investigated the trade in puppies and reported that around 20 percent of puppies bought on the internet will die within six months. Whilst going directly with a breeder can take months and there’s no guarantee the breeder is genuine, safe or responsible.
A puppy farmer is a high-volume breeder that breeds dogs with no thought to the welfare and health of the puppies or their parents. Many of these puppy farms are located throughout Europe – with the importation of dogs for sale into the UK being an additional problem newborn dogs face. Puppies bred by puppy farmers are more likely to suffer from common, preventable, infectious diseases, painful or chronic inherited conditions, behavioural issues and shorter life spans.
Tailwise wants to revolutionise the industry, introducing a much safer and more joyful experience. People looking to find a dog create a profile at Tailwise.com, adding information about their home, lifestyle, dog preferences, and why they want a dog. The company will then use its ‘Dog Seeker’ profile to match them with a safe and fully verified breeder. Both dog breeders and seekers go through a range of identity verification checks, and all puppies are vet checked before they go to their new homes.
Tailwise experts support the dog seeker and breeder throughout the process until the dog is safe and happy in it’s new forever home. Breeders and new dog owners can stay in touch with each other through the Tailwise platform as the dog grows up.
Sam Worthy, CEO & Co-Founder at Tailwise, commented: “I grew up around dogs, so a couple of years ago I looked into getting my own. The one I saw was very likely from a puppy farm and I realised that the dog buying process was completely outdated and fraught with risks. It became clear that there is a stark split between breeders who care and want the very best for their litters and unscrupulous people who exploit the emotive nature of buying a puppy.”
Dan Baird, COO & Co-Founder at Tailwise, added: “Having worked in the dog world for a number of years, I’m always surprised by how little people seem to consider if a particular breed matches their lifestyle. With the rise of social media and digital influencers, people are choosing dogs based mainly on cuteness and Instagram-appeal and less on lifestyle fit. Lady Gaga’s dog Asia is cute but that doesn’t mean it’s the right dog for you. The team at Tailwise is working hard to champion responsible dog ownership and that starts with us matching the best dog to your lifestyle.”
Speaking on the investment into Tailwise, John Lees, COO at Jensons Solutions, said: “Tailwise has a strong and passionate leadership team focused on ensuring the most trusted dog breeders are introduced to responsible buyers. With over 9.5 million pet dogs in the UK, our investment is already revenue generating and the Tailwise team has a robust growth plan for the future.”
To find out more please visit Tailwise or follow Tailwise on twitter @tailwise.