Companion raises $8 million

Companion, the startup looking to leverage AI an automation for training pets, has raised $8 million in a seed round of funding from IA Ventures, Tuesday Capital, frog Design, Companion Fund, backed by Mars Petcare, Michelson Found Animals Foundation, Wheelhouse Partners, PETStock, and Central Garden & Pet.

The San Francisco-based startup offers a solution that enables pet parents to engage and train their dog at home. The Companion device uses computer vision combined with machine learning to precisely detect and analyze dogs’ movements and behaviors. Using state-of-the-art positive reinforcement techniques, and its proprietary data and algorithms, the Companion rewards your dog for desired behaviors such as sit, down, stay and recall.

The technology has been privately offered in the SF Bay Area since 2018 and will begin shipping to select early adopters throughout 2021.

“The Companion is the first step in creating more understanding with all of the animals around us. We know understanding inherently drives empathy. We help enable and foster extraordinarily deep bonds with the dogs we love…and this is just the start.” – John Honchariw, Companion CEO.

“The Companion service is exactly what dog owners who are returning to the office need. The pandemic has brought about unprecedented dog adoption rates and as the world begins to move back to normal, those dogs are going to need a Companion to stay at home with them. Our collaboration is the result of a longstanding interest in Companion’s progress, and a deep conviction in the team and their vision,” said Ethan Imboden, VP and Head of Venture Design at frog. “With their technology, the Companion team is enabling a new depth of connection between humans and animals. We’ve been thrilled to have the opportunity to both enrich this relationship and strengthen the company through design.” – Cofounder and Managing Partner at Tuesday Capital, Patrick Gallagher.