echPetHub’s Clemens is Leading Innovation in the Pet Tech Industry

Jason Malki
Published in
5 min readJan 7, 2023


I had the pleasure of interviewing Lorien Clemens, co-founder and CEO at PetHub, Inc., the first networked database in the U.S. for pets and pet parents. She joined PetHub in June of 2011 as the modern pet ID tag startup was in its beginning stages. Lorien has guided PetHub to its wins of multiple pet industry awards, as well as PetHub being named one of Business Insider Magazine’s 50 Coolest New Businesses in America. Lorien has been honored by Pet Age Magazine as one of the pet industry’s Women of Influence, and she was also named the Pet Industry Network’s 2014 Pet Industry Woman of the Year.

Thank you so much for joining us!

What motivated you to launch your startup?

Statistics show that only 5% of cats and 20% of dogs return home after they go missing. My co-founder and partner, Tom Arnold, wanted to address this challenge of lost pets never making it home. Tom told me about his amazing idea to start a company in the pet technology space. He started working on it in 2007 and developed the business plan in 2009. I thought it was a great idea and offered to help by providing feedback and assisting with various projects.

As pet parents, we saw the need to develop innovative technology and modern pet identification tools to help pet parents locate lost pets faster. We launched the first networked database and QR-coded pet ID tags in the United States in 2010.

What is it that excites you about what you’re building?

Our mission is to keep every family’s pets happy, safe and home for the rest of their lives. For more than a decade, we’ve made a huge impact by helping return 96% of animals found through ID tags in under 24 hours, which has resulted in huge financial savings to municipalities and shelter operators by keeping animals from entering shelters which on average costs $100/day per animal. Our team works with local animal services organizations and municipalities to build a custom identification tag program tailored to meet the needs of the community. Our digital ID tags have replaced traditional stamped metal tags used by most animal services organizations. Organizations using our tags have seen increased compliance with identification programs (i.e., pet licensing and rabies tags), decreased entry of lost pets into shelters and they’re eligible for our Shelter Share Program.

PetHub continues to grow rapidly and we’re approaching 1-million pet profiles.

What has been your biggest challenge when growing your startup?

One of the challenges we’ve faced is fundraising for capital, which is a struggle that many start-ups deal with. Raising capital is often a full-time job, which takes away time spent on your business. However, we must find ways to allocate time to grow our company through funding efforts, as well as strategic partnerships that will allow us to enhance offerings to our users and increase our number of paid subscribers.

Additionally, we faced initial challenges with the QR and Near Field Communication (NFC) technologies we were using for our products being too early for the time when we launched in 2010. While QR codes are now mainstream as a result of the pandemic and NFC is also commonly used, we struggled with educating consumers on usage when we first launched.

What are your future plans for your startup?

We’re focused on growing our company and building strategic partnerships that will fuel future growth and investment opportunities. Earlier this year, we were one of six pet care companies selected to participate in the fifth cohort of the Leap Venture Studio, the first pet care-specific startup accelerator. The 12-week program was created by Kinship (Mars Petcare), Michelson Found Animals and R/GA Ventures to nurture innovation in the fast-growing pet industry. The growth opportunities available through the Leap program are invaluable. We’ve gained useful knowledge and insights by working closely with executive mentors from Kinship and Michelson Found Animals, as well as a curated team of experts from R/GA Ventures. We hope to reach our fundraising milestones as a result of our participation in the Leap program. Each company involved in Leap received an investment of up to $200,000, and we presented to investors, industry leaders and the startup community during a virtual Demo Day on April 28. We were also recently selected as one of the 12 startups to participate in the fourth cohort of Plug and Play Topeka’s Animal Health Program. We’ll participate in a three-month accelerator program.

Additionally, we’re looking forward to launching several new strategic partnerships that will allow us to connect pet parents with everything they need via our PetHub Connections open API program. We announced our innovative collaboration with Mella Pet Care, another Leap participant, to provide pet owners with enhanced access to electronic pet health records through cross-platform data sharing. Our users are able to send pet data from PetHub into the Mella Pet Care app and send pet health data back to our platform.

If you had to share, “words of wisdom,” with a Founder who’s about to start their own startup, what would they be?

One of the most important steps of launching a startup is picking the right people to join your team to help support you and your vision for the company. When we started adding to our team, we decided to prioritize our values when hiring new employees. We ask ourselves if the person is a good fit with our company values, and if they’ll add to our company culture in a positive and exciting way. This mind shift has led to some of our most exciting new hires and even improved our team’s energy since everyone is focused on a shared mission. We understand and trust that we all hold the same values in life and it’s very exciting for us to be working together, which has resulted in developing trust more quickly.

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This was very insightful. Thank you so much for joining us!



Jason Malki

Jason Malki is the Founder & CEO of SuperWarm AI + StrtupBoost, a 30K+ member startup ecosystem + agency that helps across fundraising, marketing, and design.