February 2, 2017
Nestlé Purina has named high-tech pet bowl company Obe the winner of Purina’s first Pet Care Innovation Prize. The Prize is a partnership between Nestlé Purina and investment firms Active Capital and Cultivation Capital. Obe’s flagship product is ProBowl, a patent-pending, dishwasher safe bowl with a smart base that connects to a phone and WiFi via an app. ProBowl tracks a pet’s food and water intake, provides feedback on consumption, and alerts pet owners to any changes that are out of the ordinary compared to normal consumption habits. The ProBowl app can also sync with Amazon to have pet food automatically delivered to your door.
According to a Nestlé Purina press release, more than 80 companies from 11 countries applied for the Pet Care Innovation Prize. Obe was one of five finalists for the award. All finalists received a $10,000 cash prize along with immersion in a multi-day accelerator program in St. Louis. As the grand prize winner, Obe received an additional $10,000 for business development and will be an exhibitor at the 2017 Global Pet Expo, one of the world’s largest pet industry events. Expo attendees can meet Obe’s founders and see the ProBowl in action, and retailers can find out how ProBowl can help them drive traffic to their online and brick-and-mortar stores.
Obe is a San-Francisco based company founded by Hilary Jensen, who named the company after her dog, whose nickname was Obe. Jensen commented in a statement: “It’s an honor to be the first-ever winner of the Pet Care Innovation Prize and to be connected with Purina and other great companies who are all working toward the same goal: bettering the lives of pets. The support from the Pet Care Innovation Prize has been invaluable to the growth of the business.”
Jensen added, “We are all busy with a lot to remember. ProBowl takes a few things off your list, so you don’t have to worry. No more texting your spouse to find out whether the dog has been fed, or who is going to pick up the dog food. ProBowl is simple enough that even your 8-year-old can feed your pet the right amount every meal. Knowing ProBowl takes care of the details for me lets me spend more time the way I want, with my dog of course!”
Pet owners interested in pre-ordering the ProBowl, which starts at $99, can visit ObeDog.com for more information. Shipping is expected to begin in the spring of 2017.