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Karhia - World’s first electric dog coat stripper

Many dog breeds need to be groomed by hand-stripping the coat. Karhia is the World's first electric coat stripper that improves grooming quality, saves time and money, and eases the strain on hands.

Our story

So that all dogs could feel neat


All wire-haired dog breeds need to be groomed by hand-stripping the coat. There are at least 12 million wire-haired dogs in Europe only.  Until today, stripping is done by hand as there have been no motorized devices for the job. Karhia electric coat stripper saves time and money, improves the grooming quality and eases the stress on hands.

Karhia’s innovation is patented in Finland. Patent for other European countries and US is pending. There a already many pre-orders from Finland, Poland and the Netherlands. 

Karhia’s story began when founders Markus and Sami got frustrated to hand-strip their own wire-haired dogs. The brothers started to develop a mechanical device that could do the job faster, with better grooming quality and without any stress on hands. 

Now, after years of development together with mechanics design experts and professional groomers, the product is ready to be launched. 


Our business & market situation

Generally speaking, all wirehaired dogs need to be groomed by hand-stripping. A few other dog coat types also benefit from stripping. The overgrown, dull hair is removed making way for new, healthy hair to grow. Frequent grooming is important for the well-being of the coat and the overall health of the dog. Some professionals say that wire-haired dogs should be groomed as frequently as every 8 weeks. 

The demand for a mechanical device is huge. Hand-stripping is laborous and exhausting task - especially for groomer’s hands and fingers. Hand-stripping even a small dog, such as wire-haired dacshund, can take up to 2 to 3 hours. In grooming salons the charge for hand-stripping is approximately 50 euros per hour. 


Key benefits 

  • Up to 3 times faster grooming 
  • Eases the stress on hands, since the compression force and pull needed to pluck the coat comes from the device instead of fingers. 
  • Better grooming quality, because the stripping force is more stable and stripping frequency higher than when stripping with hands.
  • Environment stays clean, since the stripped coat is gathered into a separate container. 
  • Easier grooming helps to keep the grooming frequency high; the well-being of the coat and overall health of the dog improves - and the dogs look good all the time. 
  • More grooming capacity and better ergonomy for professional groomers 

Production and commercialisation

Hiqh-quality professional coat stripper Karhia Pro will be the first product launched - together with the key parts and accessories. Sales forecast for 2017 is 500 units, with a recommended retail price (RRP) of 599 €. Customer life time value is increased with parts and accessories sales. 

First production batches assembly will be carried out by Karhia Innovations Ltd. When production scales up the assembly will be outsourced and number of vendors increased step by step in order to secure the availability of components. 

In the beginning main distribution channel will be own eCommerce. Marketing consists of mainly events, digital marketing and affiliate marketing (e.g. co-op with dog breed associations and individual breeders). The lean and direct onlindistribution channel ensures close relationship with end-users and high margins and thus cash flow for scaling up the business also with internal financing. 

Main strategic partners in commercialisation will be Showhau Center and media agency OMD Finland. The co-operation with Showhau Center includes a branded grooming salon, Karhia Studio, to be established inside Showhau Center in Vantaa, Finland, visibility in Showhau Center’s digital channels and Showhau TV programme (broadcasted by Fox) and in events across Finland. Media agency OMD Finland’s responsibility is digital marketing (search, display, conversion optimisation etc) when the business scales up. 

Lower-priced version of the product, Karhia Home, is already in development and will be launched in 2018. Karhia Home’s RRP will be within 200 to 300 euros depending on production quantities. 


Due to the uniqueness of the product, the demand is global. At first we focus on the European market. Based on our own market study the penetration of hand-stripped dogs is at least 15 % of the dog population. This means at least 12 million hand-stripped dogs in Europe only. 

Karhia Pro’s target audience is professional groomers, dog breeders, grooming salons and consumers who value professional level quality. Approximately 40 % of pre-orderers are private persons, which indicates high demand also for the Karhia Pro product version already from the consumer segment. 

Jump onboard to improve the well-being of dogs together with us - so that all dogs could feel neat. 

Our team

Our team

Karhia's core team consists of entrepreneurs with extremely strong expertise in mechanic design. Karhia's advisors are professionals in business development, digital business and marketing. Showhau Center and media agency OMD Finland have been selected as strategic partners to help us in commercialisation of our innovation.


Markus Ristaniemi

Co-founder, CEO

Founder and CEO of Karhia. Working experience from advanced mechanics design projects 15+ years. Specalist on precision mechanics, innovations, solid mechanics, CAD planning. Entrepreneur since 2007.


Sami Ristaniemi

Co-Founder, Chief Product Officer

Other founder of Karhia. Sami’s career on precision mechanics started already in the 90’s. Sami’s planning work can be seen e.g. on satellites sent to space. At Karhia Sami’s role is to overlook product development. Specialist on precision mechanics and innovations. Entrepreneur since 2007.


Tommi Hirvilammi

Co-Founder, Production Director

Tommi has 15+ years of broad expertise on large and advanced product development projects. Specialist on product development, dynamics and solid mechanics, risk analyses, industrial management and engineering.


Erkki Lehtonen

Co-Founder, Mechanics Designer, advisor

Erkki is the grand old man of precision mechanics. His 40+ years career includes all  needed skills and relationships for product development, innovation and commercialisation. Erkki’s role is to sparr Karhia team on key strategic decisions.


Silvia Walle

Advisor/consult, customer relationships, social media, grooming trainer

Silvia is an experienced customer service professional, active dog enthusiast and one of the few trained dog groomers in Finland. At Karhia Silvia’s main responsibilities are social media activities, partner relationships with professional groomers and dog breed accociations as well as grooming training.

Team placeholder

Showhau Center

Strategic Partner

Showhau Center is a full-service dog event and well-being center in Vantaa, Finland. Starting from May 2017 the grooming studio transforms into Karhia Studio, that ensures us continuous and cost-efficient brand visilibility. Karhia Studio works also as our showroom where we will arrange test grooming sessions and other events. Our co-operation includes also visibility on Showhau’s digital channels and Roadshow across Finland. http://www.showhaucenter.com/center/


OMD Finland Oy

Strategic Partner, Digital Marketing

OMD is the world’s leading media agency network, who is responsible for marketing for global brands such as Zalando and Uber. OMD is responsible for our eCommerce’s digital, performance based marketing internationally. The strategic partnership with OMD offers us an agile and cost-efficient way to use different specialist resources (such as PPC, SEO, analytics, conversion optimisation, digital media buys etc.) without high investment in inhouse resources.


Antti Kaihlanen

Advisor, marketing

Antti has 16+ years of expertise on strategic marketing planning. As Chief Strategy Officer for marketing communications agency Dentsu Aegis Network, Antti formerly was responsible for marketing planning for brands such as Coca-Cola, Hartwall, RAY and Fiskars. Currently Antti is an entrepreneur helping various startups and growth companies (e.g. Invesdor, Birdietime, FittedGoods, Croc Sports) in their business development and marketing challenges. At Karhia, Antti's responsibility is strategic marketing planning together with and partnership with Showhau Center and OMD Finland. 


Mikael Back

Advisor, business development and finance

Mikael is an experienced business development specialist. Has founded several businesses (e.g. Prewise, Fortune Rookies, BirdieTime) and built the businesses to millions of euros. Mikael works as a board member or advisor for several promising growth companies (e.g. Invesdor).At Karhia Mikael’s responsibility is financing and business development.


Eetu Bergman

Advisor, eCommerce and digital marketing

Eetu is an experienced digital marketing strategist and agile implementor. On his 15+ years as an entrepreneur Eetu has served 250+ clients on digital marketing and digital business. At Karhia, Eetu’s responsibility is eCommerce and digital marketing.