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Petlove: A Strategic Analysis Case

The following is an excerpt from a June 2021 FutureFounder Innovator Lucas's strategic analysis on Petlove as part of the FutureFounder StartupReadiness training. FutureFounder Innovators create a Digital Portfolio in an effort to secure work experience at a startup. To see more of Lucas's work or learn more about his experience working at a startup, check out his Digital Portfolio.

-FutureFounder Team

Petlove: A Strategic Analysis Case


I have been challenged to improve my entrepreneur skills and develop an innovative mindset as part of the FutureFounder – Brazil program to be able to join a startup and understand how they operate. Additionally, I will be able to help them improve, grow, and succeed, so I had to develop an objective for a Brazilian startup based on research, data, information, and STEEPLE and SWOT analysis.

Petlove is a Brazilian startup created in 1988 by Marcio Waldman, who was just a veterinarian back then, in the city of São Paulo. Thirty years later after many changes to the brand and in the website design, based on several conversations with Pet lovers from all over Brazil, he adopted a new brand positioning in order to better convey what the brand believes in, in addition to strengthening the relationship with the customers adopting purple as the main color and investing in data analysis and renewing his website.

Conducting a strategic analysis

Initially, I had to perform a strategic analysis of the company and the market that it is part of to understand which paths the brand should take so it wouldn't lose marketability, customers, branding, profits, or get stuck while the competition takes steps into the market innovation and future and becomes a great threat. With that being said, a self-respecting company like Petlove has to be two or three steps ahead of its competitors, analyzing the market trends, changes in the target audience, worldwide economic tendencies, and technology updates. Such a level of research can make a difference especially for a startup, whose scenario is always changing and evolving.

Defining a strategy

The pet commerce Petlove is focused on is an ever-growing market in Brazil, the third country with most pets in the world (132 millions), only behind the United States (232 mi) and China (417 mi). In 2018, this market had revenues of USD5.22 bi and since then the biggest pet shops have been Cobasi, Petz, and Petlove. They took the opportunity and became the first online pet marketplace (rated 4.9 in the AppStore and more than 1.000.000 downloads in Google Play Store) as the other companies were created as brick-and-mortar shops and started online deliveries after a while. Another difference about Petlove is their variety in products available for six types of animals, including dogs, cats, fish, reptiles, birds and rodents, each with product niches, such as feeding items, cages, houses or aquariums, beds, hygiene and cleaning products, accessories, and a huge variety of products.

A strength and a reason why Petlove is one of the Brazilians unicorns is their programs with pet rescue and NGO donations: The pet rescue program is a great opportunity to give abandoned animals home as there are more than 30 million pets on the Brazilian streets, a serious issue when it comes to animal safety and public health. The NGO donations (as the company makes donations and whoever visits their website can donate as well) aim to not only give these animals a shelter, but also a home and a family, treatment, and vaccines. This also comes with a government and laws that support all pet-helpers throughout Brazil, which has the most rigorous laws against pet mistreatment, abuse, and abandonment in Latin America.

Another strength is their investments in pet services, as pet sitters, pet walkers, accommodations, at home veterinarians, and pet day-cares. Turn competition in partnership is also strength from Petlove. Another Brazilian startup, Dog Hero, became a partner with the startup, providing the data of accommodations and pet walkers to Petlove. As an example of their concern about pets' lives, every veterinarian has to get their degree verified to be considered a Petlove partner. Plus, everyone who works with the startup has to sign really rigorous ethics and conduct code.

Defining a strategic roadmap

These initiatives made Petlove close 2020 with USD105.9mi on sales, a value that makes them a unicorn in 2021 and one of the biggest promises in the startup market. In summary, believing that Petlove still has a long way through success, I gather information as a business manager with market research, data and target-audience analysis, business information, and marketing management to make them grow even more in another constant market and built a physic store in São Paulo, more specifically in the district of Vila Madalena.

The purpose of this OKR is to enhance customers in a great city, consolidate itself not only as a unicorn but as a company that can only grow and follows the paths to succeed and dominate the target audience in one of the districts of São Paulo which has a lot of potential customers and doesn’t have an expensive price to establish a store. To achieve the needed investment, the pet startup can make promotions in their website in specific products with partner brands – the brands have profits due to more sales, and the startup gain more trustworthy partners; promote a marketing campaign in Vila Madalena to make itself visible to those who don’t know them, enhance customers and collect audience data for further marketing projects and specific promotions due to certain info.


To do this analysis I had to be very accurate in data and info collection because the pet market can be very profit and animal-friendly, but it also can take a lot of precise research, thorough data, and a different vision to see success in a very traditional and passionate field, which every day has been only growing and gathering peoples and animals throughout Brazil and all the world. For this, the startup could embrace the customer experience developing a trustworthy environment with the local public and the target audience through a different and new store by changing the old methods; can be a store with a shape of a dog, self-service machines, a barking purchase sensor, and so many other ideas to make the customer have a memorable experience and don't forget all the feelings he had when he came by at the store. Meanwhile, the results of the brick-and-mortar store are increasing the number of customers that can know the store and also enhancing the ratio of e-commerce.

Key Takeaways

In conclusion, this research was made to improve my skills and develop a mindset ready for the startup environment, which requires attention, self-learning ability, resilience, and an entrepreneur mindset. Making this blog post made me understand that all data matters and there is nothing better than a good analysis from what is the actual market, what are the challenges the new companies have to face, and why the companies are buying and investing in multiple ways to require data and info from their target audience and possible customers.

In summary, the FutureFounder program is preparing me to know the challenges I'm going to face in a startup and how can I, as a Business and Innovation Manager and FutureFounder Fellow, will be able to participate actively in a possible unicorn and a promising company that can change the rumors of the future and innovates processes.


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