What's in a name: How Napo came to be because of one little dog

Written by Napo HQ
26th Aug 2022
5 mins read
The photo shows a wire haired dachshund called Napoleon, aka Napo.
Summary
Every owner loves their pet, and some of us show that love in different ways. In the case of JP, he decided he had to found a company in his dog's name. To celebrate International Dog Day, we're celebrating the original Napo and how a scruffy dog in a wheelbarrow led to the creation of a company of pet lovers.
Dog people and cat people might have their differences, but one thing we all have in common is our love for our furry friends. We’d do anything for our pets!
But sometimes, owners do something a little bit special to celebrate their pets. In the case of Napo, an entire company was born because of a love for one scruffy little dog.
We sat down with Napo’s founder and CEO, Jean-Philippe (a.k.a. JP to us!) to find out more about Napo’s namesake and what made him decide to create an entire business because of his dog.

Hi JP! Before we get started, can you tell me a little bit about yourself?

I’m JP, and I founded Napo in 2021 with my good friend and colleague, Ludovic.
Before Napo, I co-founded a digital health platform (Tictrac) and led the business development at Babylon Health, so I’ve spent years helping people to engage with wellness and learn how to protect their health. After spending so long helping humans to protect their health, I switched to help people protect their pets!
Outside of work, I’m happily married to my amazing wife, whom I have been with for the last 10 years. I’m also father to two wonderful children (Zoé, who is 3.5 years old, and Areteo, who is 6 months old) that I love dearly. I’m definitely a doting father, and like to spend a lot of time with them. I love what we do at Napo, so yes I will work a lot, but I always make sure I spend quality time with my family (and friends)! Other than that, I play tennis every weekend and pretty much any time I can squeeze a game in, and I do yoga 3 times a week.

You founded Napo and named the company after your dog, Napoleon. What was the real-life Napo like?

He was a very stubborn and loving dog! In my family, we have always loved pets that have a lot of character, and he definitely had a lot! A typical Dachshund really, he was a big dog in a little dog’s body.
He loved to sleep on his back and be cuddled. He wasn’t much of an outside dog though, we had to drag him out most of the time!
Napo was really quirky. He would "sit" at the dinner table like a human, watching everything that was going on. We actually think he thought he was a human being, because he always preferred to play with people rather than other dogs.
Towards the end of his life he could not walk much, so we used to move him around in a wheelbarrow. He loved it!

The photo shows Napo founder, Jean-Philippe  Doumeng, wheeling his wire haired dachshund Napo around in a wheelbarrow
Was Napoleon the only dog you’ve owned, or have you always been a dog person?

I’ve always had dogs in the family growing up. My first dog was a Coton de Tulear named "Cotton" (original, I know...)
The last one was Napoleon (nicknamed Napo), my beloved wired-haired Dachshund.
Even though I’ve always had dogs, I’d not say I’m just a dog person. I’ve also had 2 cats, one called Mr Cat (again, very original), and another one called Batman. And when I was younger, I was lucky enough to have plenty of other animals around because my grandparents also had loads of pets throughout the years. (German Shepherds mostly.)

What made you decide to found Napo in your dog's name?

When Napo passed away my family and I were naturally heartbroken. Whilst founding Napo, I decided to name it after my dog as a tribute to him. It means he’ll be remembered forever. And all the care and love I had for him can help other owners to look after their dogs and cats too.

As well as being a way to honour your beloved dog, what was your intention behind founding Napo?

Ludo and I noticed that many people were still not insuring their pets, and we tried to understand why.
It mostly seemed people were not super happy with their current pet insurer. Other people did not really know that their pet needed to be insured, and thought they could cover any vet bills or other fees out of pocket. (But after some research, it seems most people don't realise how expensive taking care of your pet is, especially when something bad happens).
We decided to help and came to market with a value proposition that delivers more value than "just" pet insurance, and help people navigate through the whole journey of pet parenthood.
Our aim was to create a more holistic approach to pet care that helps our members and their pets live in total peace of mind.
Yes, we provide insurance, but we also give them access to other free tools and services. In fact, our package is split into three sections. Prevention, education, and insurance. So although insurance is a big part of what we do, we also want to provide the expert advice, tools, and knowledge that owners need to prevent problems in the first place and to keep their pets happy and healthy all the time.
We hope we will help increase the number of people that take on insurance for their pets and ultimately we want to ensure all pets have everything they need to live long, healthy, and happy lives!

As our readers may or may not know, Napo is getting close to its first birthday! How much have we achieved? How close or how far are we to that original goal you had?

We have actually moved much faster than any of us originally anticipated.
Within less than a year, we’ve managed to create a fantastic product that people love, and we’re very proud to have one of the best Trustpilot ratings in the industry (4.7 as I write this!)
We have also helped to protect more than 20,000 pets within eight months of launch. To have so many people trust us to help protect their pet is amazing.
We have a lot more to do, and many ideas that we are working on to make Napo even more valuable to pet owners. We are constantly researching and taking feedback from pet owners and our customers, and using it to improve what we do and add new features.
We actually have a brand new free service launching in September, so keep your eyes peeled!
Have you done something different to show how much you love your dog? We'd love to hear your stories, reach out to us on
Instagram
and
Facebook
.
We're also here to help protect your pooch and your peace of mind. With comprehensive cover from Napo, you can get up to 16k vet fee cover, as well as free unlimited video calls to UK vets.

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