Meow! Dutch startup Poopy Cat scooped up by largest pet supplier in The Netherlands



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When asked what’s the funniest Dutch startup name, Poopy Cat, a startup that “aims to radically change the pet industry, surely tops the list. The company behind it, Poopy Pets, announced today it was scooped up by IJsvogel Groep, the largest pet supplier and owner of two large retail chains.

Subscription service for litter box

Poopy Pets was founded in 2013 by Thomas Vles and Rick Passenier. Vles was cleaning the litter box for his own cats when he conceptualized the idea for a disposable cat litter box. After teaming up with Passenier, the startup launched a subscription service for litter boxes. Other products followed suit, among others the Landmark playhouse, which got featured by Oprah Winfrey.

Viral marketing

The startup largely relied on viral marketing, reaching millions with funny cat videos, yet struggled to grow in the B2B segment. “They (Poopy Pets, ed.) had difficulties managing production and logistics while supplying retailers. By joining forces with IJsvogel these challenges can be overcome. This synergy also creates [an] opportunity in marketing and product development, where the successful brand ‘Poopy Cat’ will be continued and expanded”, a joint press release stated.

Poopy Cat

Poopy Cat will remain present as a separate brand under the IJsvogel umbrella, which claims to be the undisputed market leader in the Dutch pet supplies trade. With it comes a more seamless distribution channel, through both its retail chains (Pets Place and Boerenbond) with around 200 stores across the Netherlands, and via wholesale. “Poopy Pets’ innovative products can now be produced and distributed more efficiently, making them widely available for all retailers in Europe and beyond”, according to the press statement.

And now, finally, it’s time to watch some cats! Awwwww…..

Here’s the founder Thomas Vles cycling to London with his cuties

Cats image by Shutterstock 


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Remco Janssen

Remco Janssen founded Silicon Canals in 2014 and is its CEO and publisher, responsible for partnerships and business development. He is an expert in digital media, covering European startups, scale-ups, and venture capital. In the past, he founded Proudly Represents, the Netherlands’ first communications and PR agency for tech startups while mentoring hundreds of them. Prior to that, he worked at Europe’s first food order website, Urbanbite, and was a football journalist for Dagblad De Pers. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from the University of Applied Sciences Utrecht.

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