Entrepreneur Spotlight: Pierre Caron

Cat feeding reinvented

August 7, 2023

Entrepreneur Spotlight: Pierre Caron

Cat feeding reinvented

August 7, 2023

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Introducing Pierre Caron, the CEO and Co-founder of YOMY, a company revolutionizing cat feeding with their innovative automated feeder. Together with his co-founder and long-term friend, Yoan, they are on a mission to provide cats with the optimal diet using the Yomy Robot. 

A personal problem to solve at the origin of a cat food revolution

The journey of Yomy began with personal experiences. Pierre explains: 

"My cat Yuki had a persistent habit of waking me up at dawn demanding food, while Yoan had to switch his cat Kali to wet food due to intestinal issues. Dealing with the smelly, sticky, and messy nature of wet food multiple times a day was not enjoyable. Additionally, it often created a problem that the cats would need us for meals during the day when we were unavailable.” 

Recognizing the need for a solution that could automatically provide the right amount of wet food in small meals, Pierre and Yoan decided to tackle the challenge. After discussing the idea with other cat owners and professionals, and listening to their feedback, they made the bold decision of leaving their full time jobs to launch the company.

Let’s dive into what Yomy is

The Yomy robot is the first automated feeder capable of storing and dispensing both wet food and kibbles. It functions as an intelligent feeder that delivers the right portion, at the optimal time, and only when your cat is hungry. 

Pierre shares with us: “Kibbles are the preferred choice for feeding cats in France due to their compatibility with feline feeding habits, which involve frequent small meals spread throughout the day and night. Kibbles offer convenience to pet owners as they can easily feed their cats using automated feeding machines with minimal effort. 

However, it is advised that cats receive a minimum of 50% wet food in their diet to aid in the prevention of urinary and renal diseases, as well as the management of weight-related issues”

The Yomy robot solves this contradiction by providing a customized 24/7 diet specifically designed for your cat, requiring minimal effort on your part.

It consists of three key components. First, there's a connected dispenser that accurately distributes the cat's mixed diet (wet food and kibbles) for up to a week, ensuring that your furry friend is well-fed even when you're not around. Additionally, Yomy offers a range of wet food for cats, marketed in patented pouches (500g) that are six times larger than the market standard (80g), designed specifically to work seamlessly with their machine. 

Finally, Yomy provides a web and mobile app that allows you to monitor and analyze your cat's feeding behavior, enabling you to tailor a wet and dry diet that suits their individual needs

The Yomy team today, from left: Julien, Pierre, Yoan, Delphine

💪🚧The first business challenges shaped the Yomy solution

Bringing a product to market never comes without its challenges, and it was no exception with Yomy. When asked about the biggest challenge they faced in launching their first product, Pierre openly shares the technical obstacle they encountered:

“One of the primary technical challenges we faced throughout the project was the fact that cat wet food tends to be oily and oxidizes rapidly. Consequently, ensuring that our robot remained clean and free of any residue became a major concern for us”.

Pierre further emphasizes the importance of finding the right partner in their journey: 

“We were fortunate to collaborate with Sparkmate, who provided fresh ideas and innovative solutions while assisting us in executing and accomplishing our goals. Their support has been invaluable to our progress”  ….And no, we didn't pay Pierre to say that ;)

When discussing the timeline from the initial idea to the product's market launch, Pierre shares the comprehensive process they underwent. It took them approximately five years to turn their idea into a reality. It was a rigorous process that involved validating ideas, identifying the optimal business model, and developing and refining up to ten iterations of prototypes. 

Additionally, raising funds, obtaining patents, designing molds and toolings, and commencing the manufacturing phase were all integral steps in the journey. Pierre acknowledges that starting an industrial project from inception to completion is a time-consuming endeavor, but the journey exceeded their initial expectations.

🚀A crazy idea to a game-changing business

The craziest decisions that turned out to be a game-changer for Yomy was incorporating kibbles into their offering, as an addition to wet food - which was clearly a paradox: adding dry food in order to help cats eat more wet food. Pierre emphasized the importance of introducing dietary changes gradually for cats to avoid potential digestive issues. 

"We discovered that we were addressing a much larger need within the market," Pierre revealed. This approach has gained the trust and support of key stakeholders such as veterinarians, who view the Yomy solution as optimal for meeting the dietary requirements of cats.

💡Words of Wisdom - Stay focused on your vision

Reflecting on his entrepreneurial journey, Pierre shares a piece of advice to other entrepreneurs who are just starting building their business: 

“Stay focused on your vision, relentlessly pursue market validation while maintaining a kind and considerate approach in your business interactions.” 

With Yomy's continued innovation and dedication to optimal cat nutrition, Pierre and Yoan are making a significant impact on the well-being of feline companions worldwide.

Their story is a testament to the dedication and drive necessary to transform an idea into a reality.

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