In a move that could raise at least $100 million, Goldman Sachs-backed online pet shop Boqii Co. is planning an initial public offering (IPO), per unnamed sources. The eCommerce firm, which is based in Shanghai, is mulling offering shares in U.S. or Hong Kong, Bloomberg reported.
Boqii had a Series A fundraising round that finished in June 2013, followed by a series B round in 2014. The firm is said to be harnessing increasing affluence as more households take pets into their homes in the Chinese market. A successful listing would contribute to the $2.6 billion that companies in China have taken in through “first-time overseas share sales this year,” per the report.
Although the eCommerce company is geared toward cats and dogs, it also has offerings for other animals such as rabbits, turtles, lizards and guinea pigs. Its platform, which counts over 12 million paying users, offers food and listings for groomers and veterinarians, and also has a social network that enables owners to share their pet pictures.
In his book “One Nation Under Dog: America’s Love Affair With Our Dogs,” Michael Schaffer wrote that “America’s house pets have worked their way into a new place in the hearts, homes and wallets of their owners.” Data supports that assertion, with VIP Petcare finding that 84 percent of pet owners consider themselves “pet parents.”
At the same time, Nielsen noted in a paper about pet care trends that “the humanization of pets has played well for brands and retailers that have developed or pivoted their strategies for consumers looking to treat their furry friends to the best that life has to offer.” Owners of pets are also willing to pay to offer their pets the best lives possible. VIP Petcare estimates the average pet owner spends a little over $2,000 each year caring for their animals.