Pet Circle has been widely recognized for its success, winning awards including SmartCompany’s Smart50, the NSW Telstra Business Award for Fastest Growing Start-up; and it has been consistently rated as a top pet store by Canstar Blue.
Co-founded by Mike Frizell and James Edwards, Pet Circle recently secured $125 million Series C funding, becoming one of Australia’s latest billion-dollar-valued ‘unicorn’ companies.
Pet had the chance to sit down with Edwards, whose role is Head of Data Science, and discuss how the business came about, the company’s goals, and the mark it hopes to leave on the industry.
Pet: What led you to a career in the pet industry?
Edwards: Happenstance really; I have attracted to the combination of an interesting challenge and a meaningful opportunity when the idea for Pet Circle came about in 2011 and I joined Mike to start up the business. At the time I didn’t even have a pet (though 11 years on I’m a proud dog parent and thinking about a second one!)
Pet: What is your proudest achievement so far in your career?
Edwards: Making high-quality food available to a much wider set of pet parents makes me really happy and proud. It’s good business, but the impact is that thousands of dogs and cats around the country are healthier and living longer lives because of Pet Circle.
Pet: Do you have any goals or plans you would like to achieve in the coming year?
Edwards: At the top of my list is making it easier to be a pet parent by providing better information that is more accessible to pet parents everywhere. I still remember how hard it was to understand which food was best for Macaron (our Cavoodle), or what was the right set of medications. It can be confusing and intimidating and I want Pet Circle to change that.
Pet: What impact do you hope to leave on the pet industry?
Edwards: We are in the middle of the trend towards an expectation of pets being regarded as part of the family. As an industry, we still have a long way to go to catch up and meet the needs of pet parents who want the best for their dogs, cats, birds, and other pets. I’d like Pet Circle to be in the vanguard of our industry helping people give pets the quality products and services they deserve.