21 July 2016

Silvertree invests in South African pet store

Silvertree Internet Holdings, an operating and holding company for early and mid-stage tech businesses targeting African consumers, has invested in South African online pet food and accessory store Pet Heaven.

The investment will see Silvertree providing expansion capital for Pet Heaven, as well as supporting Pet Heaven through synergies with other Silvertree e-commerce companies, such as Faithful to Nature and Cybercellar – that have seen substantial growth and market penetration thanks to, amongst other reasons, relationships and guidance from Silvertree.

Paul Cook, Silvertree Director, said: “Pet Heaven’s subscription model is great for customers, plus it helps Pet Heaven turn once-off customers into lifelong fans. We have been blown away with what the team have already achieved, and we’re excited about Pet Heaven’s business, as well as the opportunities for collaboration between Pet Heaven and other ecommerce companies in which we have invested.”

“Pet Heaven has already proved that it’s entirely possible to make money in niche ecommerce in South Africa, through disciplined, lean execution – and there’s lots more to come,” he said.

Pet Heaven’s core product is pet food, namely high end and veterinarian-approved ranges such as Eukanuba, Hills and Royal Canin.

In addition, Pet Heaven’s range of pet accessories is rapidly growing to meet an increasing demand in the market place.

A strong customer demand has allowed Pet Heaven to grow revenue 150% year-on-year over the last two years with limited marketing spend.

Supported as a young start-up by the 88mph incubator (Cape Town Garage), Pet Heaven has focused on making the economics of pet food delivery work, despite the small margins and heavy weight of pet food courier deliveries.

The team operates small warehouses in Johannesburg and Cape Town, and focuses continuously on cost and performance of logistics, marketing and product sourcing.

The Silvertree investment will be used for increased marketing, broadening the range of pet accessories and new food brands that the site stocks, further IT investment, and growing the team to support continued market penetration across South Africa.

Schalk Kearney, CEO of Pet Heaven, said: “We’ve seen huge demand from pet owners for affordable, convenient delivery of pet essentials, and we’re excited to be making our offering available to far more customers, with the support of Silvertree.”

Silvertree incubates and invests into ventures, and focuses on execution of simple, proven business models.

Based in Cape Town, the Silvertree portfolio includes e-commerce businesses like Faithful to Nature, Cybercellar and WineCo, comparison sites Pricecheck and CompareGuru, performance marketing agency Sprout, web development agency We Are Monsters, and others. Source: Africa Global Funds