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Mars Enters Pet Tech Sector with Whistle


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Mars Petcare, a Belgium-based company owns such pet food brands as Pedigree and Iams, as well as Banfield veterinary service, which owns more than 800 pet hospitals, has bought Whistle, a startup that makes smart dog collars to track a pet’s location and fitness.

“We are excited about the opportunity our investment will bring us to in this new area of pet care technology,” the company said in a statement.

The connected collar allows Mars to collect pet-behavior data on a large scale, which could be useful when developing new pet products.

“Pet behavior and health data could be more valuable in new product development than the actual accessories,” said Jitendra Waral, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence. “The hardware simply tends to get commoditized.”

Whistle, which has been called the “Fitbit for dogs,” is backed by DCM Ventures, Nokia Growth Partners, basketball all-star Carmelo Anthony and rapper Nasir “Nas” Jones.

Mars did not disclose the details of the acquisition, but industry insiders with knowledge of the matter said it was about $117 million.

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