Glenn Polyn//April 11, 2022//
Glenn Polyn //April 11, 2022//
Press release: TellTail
TellTail, a comprehensive community-first platform to support trusted pet breeders, recently announced that it is now in beta and has raised $3.4 million in a seed funding round led by General Catalyst.
TellTail provides community, education, and business support to dog breeders, who have historically been void of the infrastructure they need to thrive. Breeders currently juggle inefficient platforms, restrictions on social media, and complex barriers on the business side, all while balancing vulnerable litter care. TellTail will use this funding to support and accelerate the launch of their breeder community and provide nose-to-tail, customizable business solutions for breeders.
“I cannot emphasize this enough – we are here to support trusted breeders, and deeply believe that they are the unsung heroes of the pet industry,” said Brittany Brody, co-founder and CEO of TellTail. Brody also witnessed the obstacles facing breeders in her home state of Iowa, during her own search for her puppy, Oscar, adding, “they are putting the needs of their puppies first, but have little support in the hard work they do each day, so we are putting breeders first unlike any organization has done before us.”
Co-founder and COO, Mariana Gomez, added, “We spoke with hundreds of breeders
through the development process, and I also watched my grandmother breed pomeranians while I was growing up in Colombia, so we took all of those insights and designed TellTail with breeders, for breeders, to help them thrive – and this fundraising milestone is jet fuel for bringing this vision to life.”
General Catalyst led TellTail’s $3.4 million seed funding round, with participation from Scribble Ventures and The Companion Fund. A few of the angel investors in the round include Garrett Smallwood (CEO, Wag!), Olivia Tam (VP of Marketplace Operations, Poshmark), Amy Sezak (SVP of Corporate Communications, Yelp), Paul Luning (former COO, Elemy and former operations executive, Airbnb) Mike Volpe (former CMO and founding team, Hubspot), and Kevin and Edward Chiu (founders, Catalyst), among others.
“From the moment we met Brittany and Mariana, it was clear that they had a deep understanding of the breeder world, a clear passion for the pet space, and that they were leading change in this sector with empathy and thoughtfulness as true animal lovers,” said Zak Kukoff, investor at General Catalyst, adding “our investment in TellTail supports this phenomenal team’s vision where trusted breeders can thrive, as a giant step toward solving complex issues in the pet industry in a way that has never been done before.”
The first phase of TellTail will focus on building a trusted community for breeders, who currently face limitations and deplatforming on social media sites due to prohibitions on animal sales. TellTail will also soon introduce tools for breeders to more easily organize, streamline, and manage their programs. TellTail will require an application to join the community, with the goal of excluding bad actors, such as scammers and anti-breeder activists, who have historically taken advantage of the cracks in this market.
The pet industry has changed dramatically in recent years, with the important work of animal welfare organizations leading to a decline in the number of dogs entering shelters, while demand for pets continues to rapidly increase. Future pet parents now seek more dogs from trusted breeders than ever before, but breeders need more tools and resources to meet that growing demand. The TellTail team believes that supporting nurturing breeders with business tools and education leads to stronger, healthier breeding programs – and ultimately results in healthier, happier lives for the approximately 6 million puppies that breeders send to new homes each year in the US alone.
TellTail is currently in a beta testing period, where breeders need a referral code from an existing approved user to join the TellTail platform, but they plan to launch beyond the beta this year. Breeders interested in joining, or looking for more information, can now add themselves to the waitlist on TellTail’s website for early access.