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Startups Awards Hall of Fame: James Davidson, tails.com

Co-founder and CEO at tails.com, Davidson says winning Product Business of the Year 2016 has fuelled team expansion and fostered business connections

Founders: James Davidson, Steve Webster, Karen Freeman, Kat Linger, Paul Cooke, Joe Inglis, Graham Bosher and Mark Holland
Year started: 2013
Website: www.tails.com

Launched by an eight-strong founding team of dog lovers, tails.com is a pet food subscription service which provides a technological analysis of each dog’s health, lifestyle and tastes to deliver food which is nutritionally perfect for each individual pooch.

With outstanding customer care as a primary focus, the Startups 100-listed business has enjoyed countless five-star ratings and happy testimonials from its 65,000 regular customers, who have seen real positive changes in their four-legged friends since switching to the custom food.

At the Startups Awards 2016, tails.com was acknowledged for its pioneering offering with the esteemed title of Product Business of the Year.

A year after tails.com entered the awards, Startups’ caught up with co-founder and CEO James Davidson to find out how the win has benefitted the business…

What’s happened in the last year since you entered the Startups Awards?

We’ve had an incredible year feeding more happy and healthy dogs than ever and bringing dog owners new and delicious ways to better their pets’ nutrition.

We almost doubled our customer base, we hired new amazing talent across the business (including customer support, software development, factory and operations and the leadership team), and we’ve launched a new range of treats and poo bags.

Most recently we’ve developed a new brand identity, updated our website and created new photography – all of which we’ll be deploying over the summer.

What’s been the single biggest highlight for the business since winning?

There have been so many, including being welcomed into the thriving Startups’ community – a group of brilliant leaders and innovators.

For me, it’s probably that we now have vets seek us out to work with us because our food really does change dogs’ lives in a scientifically proven way.

What are you hoping to achieve in the next year or so?

We plan to work even more closely with vets, double our customer base again, launch a new advertising campaign and develop our next generation of leaders across the company.

We’re also digging into customer support in a big way – we already get great marks here from our much-loved customers and believe we can do even more to keep them and their dogs happy.

What did winning at the Startups Awards mean to you?

It was fantastic to be recognised by such a prestigious organisation that’s really helping to build business’ profiles and encourage innovation in the UK. Having won, we’re in such great company with many businesses that I personally admire.

It’s also been great for building informal relationships that help get business done by sharing tips and insights.

Why would you recommend entering awards like this?

Its great for the wider team to be recognised by our peers in the start-up community.

We get plenty of positive affirmation from our customers and investors, however entering these awards meant receiving that affirmation from our peers – which is really quite special in a different way.

Applications for the Startups Awards 2017 are now open! To enter your business and follow in the footsteps of tails.com, click here.

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