BOGOTÁ, January 12, 2022 — Laika, the one-stop-shop for pets in LATAM, announced today that it has raised $48 million in its Series B investment round. The round was led by SoftBank Latin America Fund, one of the largest growth equity firms around the world. Jam Fund (Tinder co-founder), FJ Labs, Delivery Hero’s DX Ventures, and independent investors such as Carlos Garcia (Co-founder of Kavak), Pedro De Garay (CEO of GBM) and Hans Tung (GGVC) also participated in the round.
“We are very excited to be partnering with Camilo, Manuela, Tulio and the rest of the Laika team to support their expansion across Latin America. People across the region are spending more time and resources on their pets and prefer to do so in a convenient and easy manner. Laika´s focus on product and logistics has allowed them to provide the pet owner a customer experience like no other.” – Juan Franck, Investment Director at SoftBank Latin America Fund.
Laika is the largest pet-commerce company in Colombia and is also expanding rapidly in Mexico and Chile. The company’s sales have grown more than 5x during the last year.
New funding will be used to change more pet parents’ lives in LATAM
Laika expects to use the new funding to accelerate growth in current markets, expand to new territories in LATAM and reinforce key teams. Laika is expecting to be the pet-commerce leader in LATAM, making pet parenting an easy and fun experience.
In Laika, pet parents are one click away from buying food, snacks, and toys, as well as insurance, home veterinary services and adoption services.
Laika also facilitates pet parenting by delivering in less than an hour, making online and offline payment methods available and offering a broad variety of products, from the most premium to the most affordable. It also offers a special membership to be part of Laika´s pet parenting community, which gives special prices, monthly gifts, and exclusive access to pet experts.
Laika aims to be a lifetime partner for pet parenting.
According to Camilo Sánchez, Laika’s CEO, “Having a pet can be expensive and time-consuming. In LATAM it is even worse. Although most people live in cities (80%), very few own a car (<1%), thus relying on very poor public transportation. Owners are forced to navigate scattered options to satisfy all of their pets’ needs: corner stores are expensive and have a very narrow product assortment, while superstores are far from home. Overall, there is a lack of specialized retailers, with no expert advice. This problem is mainly what Laika is looking to solve: a very inconvenient pet parenting experience.”
These extremely limited options, and a highly inconvenient buying experience, leave a growing market of pet owners in LATAM with unmet needs. More than 63% of families own a pet in Colombia, and up to 81% of Mexican families have pets, making LATAM a region with a pet market of more than $30 billion.
The pet industry is currently one of the fastest growing industries in LATAM. Over the years pet humanization and preimmunization have increased. Pets have become a part of the family, especially because many millennials, who represent 30% of LATAM´s population, prefer to have pets than kids, and end up spending large amounts of money on their care. During the pandemic these trends boomed as social isolation increased the adoption and acquisition of pets as essential companions.