Announcing Otto’s $1.6M Round
June 1st, 2022
Today, we’re thrilled to announce a $1.6M round led by Lee Jacobs, Cyan Banister, and Arielle Zuckerberg at Long Journey Ventures.
Otto has changed a lot since inception (ie. two seventeen year olds + one sixteen year old + seven monitors + one garage). But there are a few things that have stayed constant. And these constants are what define us.
Constant #1: Mission.
COVID-19 changed our lives. Quarantined from friends and family, we sought comfort in our furry companions. A few months in, we noticed we weren’t alone. Over the course of the pandemic, nine million Americans became new pet parents. Over-capacity shelters saw empty kennels for the first time. Demand for pets skyrocketed because of one simple fact: pets make us better people. Pets are a basis for social development, fulfill the innate humane need for comfort, and inspire goodness.
So, at Otto, our mission is simple. We’re enabling anyone to experience pet parenthood – creating a more healthy, social, and empathetic world.
Constant #2: Distribution-First.
Achieving product-market fit is incredibly complex. That’s why, from inception, Otto has been a distribution-first startup. Optimized channels to acquire users feed our customer insights which feed our product decisions. It’s a wonderful loop that allows us to precisely fit the pain points of our ideal customers – first-time pet parents.
Currently, Otto is partnered with the very best animal shelters in the nation (Humane Society of Tampa Bay, Arizona Humane, Nevada Humane, Jacksonville Humane) to profitably access this crucial demographic of fresh pet owners – enabling aggressive iteration and data-driven product decisions.
Our vision is to build the future of pet care – making it easier to become a great “pawrent” by curating content, products, and services based on your pet’s information. We’ll start by “onboarding” new pet parents – providing them with an intelligent guide that hand-holds them through the first few weeks of ownership. Over time, we’ll in-house many of these services and create our own products (Otto Insurance, CPG), bundling them together into one plan for the best pet care possible.
Constant #3: Team.
Otto was started in a garage by three teens. And now, over a year and 2 raises later, everyone on our team of 5, based in sunny San Francisco, is still ≤18 years old. We’re strong believers in a young, tight-knit, scrappy culture; the problems we face require energy and a willingness to move very fast.
If you sense you’re a fit for the Otto team, take a pause, and seriously consider joining us. When you join Otto, you’re not just chipping away at our mission for a more social, empathetic world. You’re joining a warm, world-class community of hackers and leaders. Set up a call with us, and you’ll get a full picture of the opportunity ahead.
Lastly, we’re thankful to have the support of an outstanding group of investors. We’ve raised $1.6 million, led by Long Journey Ventures alongside Jonathan Swanson, Austen Allred, Jake Zeller, Ryan Delk, Michael Stoppelman, Amjad Masad, Eric Ries, Joshua Browder, Julian Weisser, Tyler Willis, Cory Levy, Shawn Xu, and many more.
The pandemic kickstarted an already intensifying relationship between owners and their pets. In the coming years, Otto will be there to not only ride the upside, but also to permanently transform the way pet parents care for their furry friends. We can’t wait.
– Karan, Arnuv, and Rishi