BabelBark was started by Roy Stein and Bill Rebozo. They created a solution for a personal problem. Stein and Rebozo wanted to leave for vacation. The problem with traveling as a pet parent is that must leave their fur loved one with someone they trust. Although boarding is an option, it’s often wildly expensive and also can cause emotional stress on the animal because it’s taken out of its natural environment. Pet sitters are increasing in number as the amount of pet owners continues to grow.
As friends, co-workers, and software engineers, both men decided to create an app that helped find care givers. Not only did it connect the pet parents with their community, it also provided updates on the pet while the parent was away. It’s a revolutionary idea that creates a simple solution to a present day issue.
“The idea for BabelBark came about in early 2015 when we were planning an extended vacation—and worried about leaving our dogs with sitters. So, we created an app to help the care givers out and enable us keep tabs on what’s happening with our dogs.” – Roy Stein
The app usage started with just two guys and then spread to their community. The men saw and conquered a business opportunity to make it available to the public. They did a soft launch in 2018 and a full launch in 2019. Since then, the company is growing in investments, services offered, and brand awareness.
The company has a competitive advantage in their market for a few reasons. The primary reason they will continually see growth and success is that they are the first to enter a market. In a way, they created the market and then dived into other facets of the pet industry. An app that helps connect pet owners and care givers will give the owners a peace of mind while traveling and also provide the care givers with new clients.
“Since the idea for the app came about, BabelBark has grown into a Pet Suite of products including the BabelBark app for pet owners, BabelVet software for veterinary hospitals + clinics and BizBark software for businesses + shelters—all designed to work together to
redefine the connection between pets and everyone who cares for them.” -Roy Stein
When researching their audience, BabelBark owners realized a few key factors played into their hopeful success. A generational and demographic shift means that millennials are holding off on kids. Research demonstrates that the millennial generation is getting waiting to get married and have children, and thus, have opted to raise furry friends. Because they all aren’t paying for weddings or children in their twenties, some of them are more likely to pay for luxury pet items and be much more invested in the lives of their pets.
“Pet parents have different needs now than 10 years ago due to a number of factors. Verticality is out and old thinking – Horizontality is the new way to think and what millennials expect. Pet businesses need to ensure they are prepared because the new digital mobile practice is a horizontal movement. They now need to be connected to the entire pet ecosystem and ONLY BabelBark does this.” – Bill Rebozo
Their company provides a full service and horizontal integration approach to users. So not only does it focus on care givers, the company also provides other services like BizBark and BabelVet. Those two services help connect pet businesses and vet providers to owners. The app can essentially be a one stop shop for owners. Because it is a multi-faceted provider, businesses and vet clinics are likely to use it on their end to connect with pet owners. As a mutually beneficial product, the horizontal approach helps every notch in the system.
Although the startup came about just a few years ago, the two men have successful raised $8.6M in funding and are continually hoping for growth in their idea. The American Animal Hospital Association (AHAA) chose BabelBark as the exclusive vet-pet platform until December 2021. The app has the ability to benefit animal hospitals and vet clinics by advertising their services on the app. Because it provides global services, BabelBark is able target in local markets. Unlike purchasing a product, sometimes buying a service, like vet care, is preferred to be done locally by pet parents. For this reason, BabelBark connects local pet parents with the local businesses and vets available to them. This powerhouse system of data is beneficial for all users involved and gives BabelBark an upper hand when it comes to future investments and business endeavors.
“By connecting the whole eco-system of pet parents with veterinary and other pet caregiver businesses through a single platform, our platform delivers mutually-reinforcing benefits with a robust data base enabling predictive analytics on what product and service is needed & when.” –Bill Rebozo