Whistle Acquires Tagg To Expand Pet Tech Offerings
Whistle, maker of the the activity monitor for dogs that tracks how much exercise Fido gets and more, announced today that it has acquired Tagg, the largest maker of pet GPS devices, for an undisclosed amount.
The deal integrates Tagg’s GPS capabilities into Whistle’s brand of app-enabled hardware products created to help provide solutions for pet owners. Ben Jacobs, Whistle co-founder and CEO, will remain at the helm of the newly formed company, while Scott Neuberger, Tagg CEO, will join Whistle as Chief Financial Officer. Whistle’s team will expand to just over 40 from 25 and will be split among its current San Francisco headquarters and the new San Diego office.
Whistle plans to integrate Tagg into its brand over the next few months and expects the two to be fully integrated by year end. The two combined boast a community of 100,000 dog owners.
“There are incredible technical achievements on the Tagg devices we’re really excited to bring on board,” Jacobs said. “Specifically in mobile GPS tracking; development of the longest-lasting battery for wearables; and the new ambient temperature sensors. ”
Whistle also announced the close of a $15 million Series B financing round led by Nokia Growth Partners (NGP) and joined by new investors Qualcomm, Melo7 Tech Partners, LLC – a fund co-founded by Carmelo Anthony and Stuart Goldfarb, and Queensbridge Venture Partners – founded by Nasir “Nas” Jones. The new capital will be used to further develop the pet brand’s product line and support continued company growth.
Whistle has raised $25 million to date, including this latest round. Existing investors, including Series A leader DCM and Slow Ventures, also participated in this round. Paul Asel, Managing Partner of NGP, will join Whistle’s board of directors as part of the deal.
The combined company is expected to dominate the pet-tech arena with a few smaller companies trying to find their own niche including FitBark and Tractive. There is plenty of room for newcomers to the pet tech market, however, as Americans continue to spend billions on their cuddly companions. In 2013, Americans spent an all-time high of $55.7 billion on their pets and spending is expected to near $60 billion last year, according to the American Pet Products Association.