Japan’s Pontely gives free DNA test for pet shop dogs, prevents future abandons, culls

L to R: Kazuhiro Aoyagi (CSO of Pontely), Toshiki Tamura (CEO), Dai Shinohara (COO)

See the original story in Japanese.

Tokyo-based Ignition Point announced last month that it had founded a subsidiary named Pontely which deals with pet distribution / lifecycle business based on DNA information of pets. Partnering with pet retailers across Japan, it provides information about potential risk of various diseases based on genetic information to customers considering the purchase of pets, aiming to reduce negligence or euthanization. Initially, the firm plans to provide a business targeting canines exclusively.

Earlier last month, The Bridge reported that Kazuhiro Aoyagi retired from CEO of Secual, returning to Ignition Point to work on new business creation (he mentioned that Ignition Point aims to create two businesses every year). Pontely is the fifth case in this context.

Toshiki Tamura and Dai Shinohara, the two being from the financial IT major Simplex, were appointed to CEO and COO respectively. Shinohara joined the team recently and Tamura had been mulling the possibilities of new businesses while being engaged in consulting works at Ignition Point. Bringing Aoyagi onboard as CSO (Chief Strategy Officer), they will focus on business development at Pontely.

Pontely cooperates with pet retailers to conduct DNA examination on unpurchased pets and returns the information to retailers free of charge,  in principle. The retailers provide the information to customers and pays a certain amount of remuneration to Pontely after a pet is sold. Pontely issues certification to pet retailers that participate in this program. Aoyagi explains Pontely’s business model:

This model is similar to the internet provider Yahoo BB that increased its customers by free distribution of routers and collected provider charges afterward. We provide free DNA examination and aim to increase the number of pet retailers participating in our platform.

Pet retailers can automatically obtain high reliability without additional cost. Aoyagi had a similar idea at Secual but gave up on this Yahoo BB style due to high manufacturing costs as to IoT (Internet of Things) sensors.

Every pet-related business including pet insurance or pet food begins at pet retailers in most cases. There are 5,000 pet retailers in Japan but no super-major chain except mid-sized ones like Kojima. The pet market is one of the promising industries so Pontely could capture a large market share if they can cover this virtual mesh.

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Translated by Taijiro Takeda
Edited by “Tex” Pomerory