Carmelo Anthony invests in Whistle, a startup to track your dog’s activity

Carmelo Anthony has made a fortune playing basketball, and now he’s investing that money in puppies.

Anthony’s fund Melo7 Tech Partners, which he founded with businessman Stuart Goldfarb, has thrown a hefty chunk of change into San Francisco-based Whistle, which makes dog-activity monitors. The $15 million funding round is a boon for the startup, which will use the money to further develop the pet brand’s product line and support continued company growth. Whistle makes something like the Fitbit for four-legged furries — a tracker that attaches to the dog’s collar and monitors its activity and rest times, and sends the data to the pet owner’s smartphone.

Nokia Growth Partners led the Series B investment, and was joined by not only Melo7 but also Qualcomm and QueensBridge Venture Partners. Whistle, founded in 2012, has now raised a total of $25 million.

But that wasn’t all the big news from Whistle on Thursday. The company also announced it bought the company that makes a competing product, San Diego-based Tagg, for an undisclosed amount. Tagg is primarily a GPS and cellular tracking collar that will keep tabs on pets for a monthly subscription fee, and notifies owners if their pet is lost.

Combined, Whistle and Tagg account for 100,000 connected collars on dogs in the U.S. Whistle said it has its sights on capturing the remaining 80 million or so pet owners.

Including Whistle, Anthony’s Melo7 firm has made 15 investments in startups including Lyft and children’s media company Hullabalu. Most of the investments are seed or early stage. Anthony, a forward for the New York Knicks and basketball All-Star, in July invested in a San Francisco kitchen-tech startup The Orange Chef Co., which makes Internet-connected kitchen appliances.

Picture courtesy Whistle

 

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