10 to Watch Winner 2024 – GoChip

10 to Watch Winner 2024 - Gochip
Principal Alexander von Kaldenberg. Photo Supplied By: Gochip.

Sector: Technology and pet care

Year launched: 2022

Principal: Alexander von Kaldenberg

Unique selling proposition: Reimagining the relationship between people, animals and cities with the world’s first digital ID for animals.

Strategy: Using technology to connect an animal’s history and location to any smartphone.

Website: gochip.pet

A lost dog that wandered up to Alexander von Kaldenberg at a cafe in Shenzhen, China, was the impetus for a technology that might alter our relationship with pets.

The co-founder of GoChip Pet Technology’s first thought was: How could a lost dog be found and how could new tech play a role? Simply, why can’t we use our smartphones to locate and identify lost pets?

But GoChip — implantable microchips, collar-worn tags and scanning systems — is also about monitoring our animals’ health, logging their whereabouts, collecting data to, say, discover a rabies outbreak, whether a dog was raised in a puppy mill or even helping municipalities and veterinarians track vaccinations and licences.

Such a comprehensive digital passport for pets would involve every stakeholder in a pet’s life: vets, dog walkers, groomers, breeders, even supply retailers.

For Von Kaldenberg, healthy animals make healthy communities.

“The driver is, people don’t know anything about the animals around them,” he says. “That can be inconvenient and, in some situations, even life threatening.”

Von Kaldenberg also wants GoChip to be open source and part of a natural trilogy for pet owners: microchip the dog, spay or neuter it, and license it. “I didn’t want to create technology that people couldn’t afford.”

GoChip has also started pilot projects in major cities in India and Indonesia. China is next. Those are three of the fastest-growing pet markets in the world and home to thousands if not millions of strays. “Throughout Asia, if you’re at a park, a restaurant, a hotel or using public transit, it’s important to know if the animals around you are safe and healthy,” he says.

“For pet owners, you’re able to demonstrate to the people around you, the businesses or organizations in contact with your dog, that it’s safe and you are responsible.”