Interview with Florian Gschwandtner, Co-Founder at Tractive: Advanced GPS Tracking For Pets

Tractive is all about giving pet parents peace of mind and keeping cats and dogs safe and healthy via GPS tracking. Michael (CEO) and I came up with the idea of Tractive, while he still lived and worked in the U.S. for Amazon. At that time, I had my own start-up Runtastic running and he told me about his friend’s dog who ran away and they were looking for him for hours.

Due to our educational background and the experience from Runtastic, we started researching and noticed that the market of GPS tracking for pets was still unexplored. This was back in 2012, Michael came back to Austria, our home country, and together with 2 former college friends, we founded Tractive. 8 years later, we are a world market leader in GPS tracking for cats and dogs, trusted by pet parents in over 150 countries worldwide. We’ve just recently launched our products in the US market and are currently working with Amazon on their new Amazon Prime series “The Pack” together with Lindsey Vonn.


Tractive GPS Dog Tracker - Location Tracker with Unlimited Range: Pet Supplies


How did you come up with the idea for the company? 


Michael Hurnaus (CEO) came up with the idea when one of his friends lost his dog and they were searching for hours. Thankfully, they were able to find his dog, but it kept Michael wondering: There must be some way to solve this problem. I was already in the start-up busines and with Runtastic we also did GPS watches and other hardware. When we were discussing how to solve the problem, we figured out that there is not really a device yet. This was the start of something big and we started Tractive.

When we introduced the first prototype at CES 2013 in Las Vegas, the feedback was incredible. They say, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas – but not in this case!



What advice would you give to other aspiring entrepreneurs?


First: Get started and don’t have a plan B, and second: Don’t listen to the naysayers.

There will always be someone who is doubting the idea and your success, if I ever listened to those voices, I wouldn’t be where I am now. Use criticism and doubt as motivation.


What can we hope to see from Tractive in the future?


I keep saying that Tractive has the potential to be the next Runtastic for me. The market is very promising and the evolution of pet tech and its growth is enormous. We intend to explore the US market further and also have a first look into the Asian market. In the next couple of years, we want to look into the topic of health – with the development of technology, we will be able to detect potential signs of illness by tracking the behavior of the pet.

In addition to that there are of course always many other ideas to improve the product in size, extend battery life, and add some more social features to connect people who love pets.