Weika received tens of millions of dollars in three rounds of financing

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How to define the potential value of “it economy”? Some people think that “it” is a necessity for emotional companionship, some people think that “it” is a new era of social currency, and some people think that “it” is an indispensable one in the lifestyle.

“It” is an inconspicuous small track in the thousands of consumer goods market, but it can be seen that it has a “traversing cycle” attitude at the moment. In 2020 after the epidemic, a total of 49 financings occurred in the domestic pet industry, and there will be more than 40 financings in 2021, with the disclosed financing amount exceeding 3.1 billion yuan. This capital flow actually reflects two characteristics of the current stage of China’s pet market: low penetration and high growth.

This is the first stop of the pet lifestyle brand VETRESKA. More and more Chinese families need the company of “it”. According to data from iResearch, the scale of China’s pet market continued to grow from 2015 to 2020, and the market size in 2020 was 298.8 billion yuan. It is estimated that by 2023, the market size of China’s pet industry will reach 445.6 billion yuan.

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The huge number of C-end markets has made the Chinese market the fastest growing place at the moment. Under the opportunity, the new pet business covers many aspects such as pet eating, playing, health, and nursing, which also accelerates the pace of Maturity. Donald Kng, founder and CEO of Weicard, told 36Kr that in the first two years of Weicard’s opening of the market, the business volume grew by almost 6 times.

Since its establishment in 2017, it has not been stuck in the 5-year development process. First, it will open up the market quickly with the core strategy of channel first and explosive products, and then quickly improve the product matrix from pet durables, pet fast-moving consumer products to pet food. A unique and efficient brand building path. Through brand product innovation and brand super symbol creation, today’s Weika has gradually established a strong emotional connection with consumers, and has further entered the family of more shit shoveling officers in the form of a product matrix. Donald Kng described to 36氪 that the repurchase rate of uncarded products is very high, and some consumers already have multiple uncarded products at home.

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However, the Chinese market is not the last stop of the market. Looking at the larger dimension of the global market, another more general growth factor is also visible to the naked eye: changes in consumer groups have brought new demands and variables to the pet market. When the people dominated by Generation Z become the main force of consumption in the next decade, consumers’ demands for personalized new pets have emerged. This is especially evident in the United States. In fact, the pet market in the United States is an earlier and more mature place, and its pet industry has a higher penetration rate. According to the APPA report, more than 67% of American households have at least one only pets. This is very attractive for Weika, who is relatively mature in the Chinese market at the moment.

Southeast Asia is another market worthy of deployment. With a population of over 600 million, it is one of the three regions with the largest population in the world today; the degree of youth is high, and the median age is concentrated at around 29 years old; at the same time, economic development Fast speed and the rising trend of middle-class consumption, youth and demographic dividends have also made Singapore, a financial center in Southeast Asia, one of the locations for many Chinese giants to develop their globalization paths. The huge market potential here is gradually being released.

“Now, when the first market is relatively mature, you can go to the next stop to explore.” Donald Kng, founder and CEO of Weika told 36氪 that Weika began to deploy future development two years ago, and aimed at the latest market trends Make strategic adjustments quickly. Starting from the second half of this year, Weika will focus on expanding its global footprint in an all-round way, setting up an overseas business center and a brand center in Singapore, and building a strong team including core functions such as supply chain, business development, DTC, branding and marketing, and radiating from this. Globally, copy the brand advantages and successful experience to the broader international market. “Weika will set up an overseas business unit with a more international perspective in Singapore, focus on the North American and Southeast Asian markets, dig deep into the global supply chain and sales channels, create a product line that meets the needs of local consumers, and make customization more cutting-edge. brand communication strategy to continuously accelerate the globalization process of the brand.”

Under the new opportunities with great imagination, Weika decisively made a regional choice of globalization path. The more important question is, how to build an international brand when facing the global market? When Weika stands on the starting line of a new stage, what new challenges will this international pet brand face when facing a larger market? In terms of market, channel and localization strategy, what adjustments will Weika make?

01. Countercyclical pet business

No one can escape the temptation of cats. Studies have shown that the interaction between humans and cats will increase the level of dopamine and serotonin in the brain, so becoming a cat slave is an addictive thing in a sense. The writer Hemingway raised a total of 34 cats, and this kind of addiction is called “if you have a cat, you will have another”.

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Therefore, more and more cats are entering people’s homes. According to the “2020 White Paper on China’s Pet Industry”, there will be 4.5 million pet cats in cities and towns across the country in 2020 alone, which is equivalent to the number of newborns in Japan in the same year. nearly five times. The number of shit shoveling officers also increased, from 24.51 million to 27.01 million, more than the permanent resident population of Beijing.

The epidemic and changes in family structure are both direct driving factors for the pet market. The first is the change in family structure. According to the data from the National Bureau of Statistics, the proportion of one-person households in my country has increased year by year, and the number of single-person households has increased. Young people far from home need a sense of companionship and emotional sustenance, and pets bear more emotional value. Therefore, the annual consumption amount of a single pet has also shown an upward trend.

In addition, the prolonged stay at home during the epidemic has also catalyzed the growth and penetration of the pet market. An emotional business such as the “pet economy” is still raising prices in the face of cold consumption during the epidemic. In fact, a survey by the American Pet Products Association proves that pet consumption is less affected by the economic cycle. Even during the 2008-2010 U.S. recession, the overall consumer spending of residents declined, but pet consumption showed a trend of growth.

Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics confirms this view: In 2010, when the U.S. economy was underperforming, spending on entertainment fell 7 percent, food spending 3.8 percent, housing spending 2 percent, clothing and services 1.4 percent, and pet spending But it increased by 6.2%.

Perhaps emotionally related, the pet business exhibits cyclical properties. So, why haven’t we seen Chinese pet brands start to emerge until recent years?

This is inseparable from the development of the pet industry in China. The increase in per capita income levels is a major factor, but it is also due to changes in pet positioning. In the first decade of the 21st century, pet positioning began to gradually change to the role of emotional behavior. In the 1980s, animal breeding was more for functional needs, and the health department also banned it due to epidemic prevention considerations. dog.

The turning point did not appear until 1992, when the China Small Animal Protection Association was established, marking the initial formation of my country’s pet industry. In the late period, there are relatively mature pet brands in Europe and the United States, so there are no domestic brands in the early pet market, and almost all of the market share is occupied by imported brands.

It was not until around 2000 that independent pet brands were established one after another. In the next 20 years, it can be seen that domestic brands are gradually entering the mainstream vision of the market.

This stage of the initial emergence of domestic brands can be said to be the success of the independent manufacturing of pet products. Then, the latter stage is the construction of a pet brand and a new opportunity to become a global pet brand. Stimulated by the rapid growth factors, more Chinese pet brands have seized the opportunity of market growth and tried to achieve a greater degree of market expansion in the rapid development. Weika is one of the representative brands.

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Product innovation ability is one of Weika’s advantages. In 2019, it has already covered 72 cities offline, and every SKU can get positive feedback from the market to ensure the growth of brand GMV. Creating new products through the logic of explosive products, and then constantly consolidating the brand moat, is a brand logic that is not stuck in the Chinese market, but when it is put into a larger market, will this logic be affected by local local characteristics, and it will appear unacceptable?

02. The same world, the same uncarded

As early as two years ago, Weicard began to deploy in the global market, and in 2021, Weicard’s overseas distribution business has achieved exponential growth, and the online self-operated territory, including self-built stations and Amazon’s flagship mall in North America, is also trending. Mature. Last year’s Amazon Prime Day , uncarded single-day sales reached hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Everything is a positive sign. According to Donald Kng, founder and CEO of Weika, the first two years were more about laying foundations in overseas markets, and from the second half of this year, Weika will focus more on the development of the entire international market, such as more non-domestic sales. The business will be operated in the overseas business center and brand center in Singapore.

36氪 was informed that VETRESKA, a pet lifestyle brand, announced that it has completed three rounds of financing of tens of millions of dollars since the beginning of 2021. Among them, the B+ round was exclusively invested by Bojia Capital, the B2 round was fully subscribed by the old shareholder Clearvue Partners Kai Ming Investment, and the newly completed B3 round of financing was led by the Singapore investment institution Altrui Investment, and the old shareholder Bojia Capital also participated in the investment. The three rounds of financing were all served by Chasing Light Capital as the exclusive financial advisor.

This means that, on the basis of further consolidating the domestic market, the three rounds of financing will invest in the global layout of channels and supply chains, brand upgrades incorporating digital innovation, and the construction of Singapore’s overseas business center and brand center.

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Uncard is targeting a much larger market. Due to differences in cultural backgrounds and lifestyles, there are also certain localization needs between different markets. Taking the Chinese and American markets as an example, the proportion of dog-owning households in the United States is much higher than that in China, while Chinese pet owners are more inclined to become “cat slaves”. This can be reflected in the differences in the pet food market. In 2020, the size of the dog food market in the United States is 24.798 billion US dollars, compared with only 10.490 billion US dollars in the cat food market; while the Chinese market is just the opposite. The food market size was valued at USD 4.298 billion and the dog food market size was valued at USD 3.916 billion.

Faced with such differentiation, Weika has localized and upgraded its product line to meet the needs of overseas consumers. For example, the Huahua series is one of the dog series products specially created by Weika for overseas. At the same time, the brand will also formulate local brand communication strategies, set up a local market research team to conduct further research and analysis on the local market, etc.

Of course, there will also be structural differences in market preferences , which are reflected in the sales feedback of the market. For example, the same unstuck cat litter box sells better in the “watermelon” shape in the Chinese market, while the “grapefruit” shape is popular in the United States. The fundamental reason is that China is the country with the largest watermelon consumption in the world. Watermelon is a fruit with an innate affection, and Americans have more emotional resonance with the fresher grapefruit. This differentiation will change the SKUs that are not stuck in different regions to a certain extent, so as to complete the regional differentiation selection more accurately.

The clever thing is that, in addition to the above-mentioned localization variables, Weika can continue to stand in the global market with a standardized and unified image. This company, founded in 2017, has been eye-catching with its product innovation since its inception. Compared with similar products, Weika shows distinctive features and attitudes with its unique sense of design. Its colors, shapes and patterns can make consumers The reader knows at a glance that “this is not a card”.

Starting from people’s preferences and needs, combine the elements that women like and pay attention to with product design, further anthropomorphize pet products, and put people’s favorite symbols on pet products. What conveys behind the symbols is actually a kind of values ​​and trends. For example, consumers have a free discussion of cherries and their yearning for “big oranges,” another example, cactus is the representative of greenness and freshness.

“There are symbols that resonate all over the world, but the understanding of symbols in different regions will be extended.” Donald Kng told 36氪, which is the reason why symbols can be used in different regions of the world. For example, the product of the cactus cat climbing frame, Chinese consumers will find it cute, while the interpretation of the American market is desert wind.

At the moment when people and pets live together, the owner’s consumption structure and consumption upgrades are mapped to pets, and it appears that all business that has been done on people can be done on pets again. Donald said that pet products are essentially a kind of lifestyle consumer goods. “The essence of lifestyle is to seize living space and integrate into life.”

Branding that can be integrated into the market should be defined by a standardized brand image, and then based on the different needs and characteristics of the market at that time, localized exploration and differentiated market strategies can be formed in the eyes of consumers in different countries and regions. Same uncarded.

03. Uncarded world, young people bring their pets to meta together

Today, consumers can see the unblocked world on independent websites, Amazon, Tmall and other channels, a growing, more and more complete unblocked world.

Adding more diversified items to the family and turning a single “pet consumption” into a “lifestyle of raising pets” is an extension of the concept of “Uncarded World”, and it is also the exploration direction of the new stage of Uncarded .

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Responding quickly to new trends has always been one of the strongest advantages of the company. Under the development trend of global digital technology, Weika also announced its entry into web 3.0 and quickly adjusted its digital marketing strategy. In the second half of the year, Weika will introduce partners in a new field to jointly create NFT products, build a virtual “VETRESKALAND”, and create a “metaverse” pet-raising life with consumers.

With the blessing of Metaverse technology, pet companies are also likely to break away from the offline space and reach more consumers at the brand, interaction, ecology and other levels in more interactive ways.

For example, some companies have tried online conferences, brand games and brand digital stores combined with the Metaverse, which can establish more effective connections with users and more accurately meet users’ needs; or create virtual spokesperson IPs to make brands The image is concretized, the brand ecosystem is expanded, and the virtual spokesperson IP has digital empowerment, which can realize rich application scenarios, significantly improve the user experience, stronger interactivity, flattened communication, further strengthen the brand memory, and strengthen the relationship with users. emotional connection.

At the same time, the audience of the Metaverse has a high degree of overlap with pet owners, accounting for 46.3% of post-90s pet owners, who are also more accessible to the digital world parallel to reality. Weika is also entering a younger, more digital world, embracing a larger market.

Facing a larger market, there is still room for more imaginative exploration of what kind of sparks can be created between pets and web3.0.

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