When we wrote about the Whistle canine fitness tracker a year ago, we said “what this thing really needs is geofencing and geolocation.” We met the folks from Tagg at CES earlier this month, saw their dog GPS collar with its geofencing and geolocation, and thought it might be a nice accompaniment for Whistle. Now comes word that we weren’t the only ones who thought so: Whistle is buying Tagg and incorporating the technology.
Whistle has also raised a Series B of $15 million from partners including Nokia, Qualcomm (which owned Tagg) and Carmelo Anthony’s venture fund. (Wait: Carmelo Anthony has a tech venture fund?)
Not to belabor a pun, but Whistle and Tagg both seem to be the best of their breeds. Whistle’s elevator pitch is “Fitbit for dogs,” which (aside from maybe setting off tripwires with trademark lawyers) is funny only for people who don’t own older and less mobile pets. Whistle’s execs told us last year that they didn’t do GPS because they didn’t know how to do it in a battery-efficient way.
Tagg does a pretty good job of that, requiring a recharge every week or two, mostly because they understand that you don’t need to track a dog in real time; you just need to know some things about its location some of the time.
This looks like a smart combination of two good companies.