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Could your trendy pet be Fuzmo's furry face?

Byline: Rupert Denholm-Hall Business Reporter rupert.denholm-hall@walesonline.co.uk

Entrepreneurs in Wales are launching a search for the UK's most fashionable pet to be the face of their new social petwork app, Fuzmo.

The free photo-sharing app, which has been created by developers in Swansea, launched live on the IOS and Android app store yesterday. As part of the launch the app is inviting owners to post pictures of their fashionista pets in a bid to become the face of Fuzmo.

The search follows a UK survey, conducted by Fuzmo, which reveals that one in five owners consider their pets to be fashionable, while 70% dress up their pet or decorate its home for special occasions.

The results also reveal that UK owners are notably fashion-conscious, with a quarter splashing out on pet clothes and two-thirds investing in grooming products to style their pet's look.

The Fuzmo app is an extension of Fuzmo.com, which already attracts 20,000 members worldwide and has more than three million followers on Instagram - including the likes of Katy Perry, Aaron Paul Sturtevant and Christina Perri.

Fuzmo was started by Swanseabased entrepreneurs Elliot Thomas and Jack Morris, who launched the start-up company with the help of online crowd funding, managing to raise PS55,450 in just 11 days.

Mr Thomas formerly worked for hi-tech start-up Veeqo, which, like Fuzmo, is based in the Swansea Tech Hub and has been selected as one of 12 promising companies from across the UK to take part in the Pitch10 event in Downing Street tomorrow.

The Fuzmo founders raised a further PS50,000 following the success of their initial crowd-funding project, receiving backing from three major investors, including New Look founder Tom Singh.

The duo has recruited seven members of staff since the investment to help manage operations from their offices in Wind Street, in Swansea city centre.

Mr Thomas said: "We started by launching the Fuzmo website off our own bat, hoping it would support our business case to crowd-fund the app.

"We knew we were onto something when we had thousands of members sign up to Fuzmo.com from all over the world within just two months.

"Fortunately, many other people saw the potential of Fuzmo, too, and made a decision to invest in us.

"More than 20 of our initial investors are from the local community, and we are so grateful for that vote of confidence which was invaluable in helping us to secure the investment we needed to launch the app.

"Jack and I make a great team. My background lies in tech and web design, and Jack has an uncanny eye for spotting content which is going to be popular online - he can actually look at a photo and tell you how many likes and views it will get. Our combined skills meant that launching Fuzmo seemed to make perfect sense as a business venture."

Jack said: "Our search for the UK's most fashionable pet just shows what Fuzmo is all about - pampered pets that love to have their photograph taken, and owners who want to share how much they love them with the world.

"Owners are very passionate about their pets and fill their Instagram, Twitter and Facebook feeds with photos of them getting up to all sorts of mischief.

"By launching an app which allows pets to have an account of their very own, we hope to host an entire community of people who are passionate about animals and sharing pet-related content.

"The app will make it easy for owners to upload photos of their pets to Fuzmo when they're on the move, and we're really excited to see cute and funny contributions from UK animal lovers."

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A survey by Fuzmo shows that a quarter of UK owners splash out on pet clothes and two-thirds invest in groom-<Bing products to fashion their pets' looks
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Feb 20, 2015
Words:647
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