Direct-to-Consumer Pet Food Co. Secures Significant Financing
The competition for brick-and-mortar pet retailers—and the pet food manufacturers that supply them with product—may have intensified. After securing a major investment, The Farmer's Dog, a direct-to-consumer pet food company, is on a mission to disrupt the $70 billion global pet food market and is rethinking how pet food is manufactured and marketed, by sending freshly made food directly to customers' doors, according to company officials.
The Farmer's Dog recently closed an $8.1 million Series A financing round led by Shasta Ventures with participation from previous investors including Forerunner Ventures, Collaborative Fund and SV Angel. The company is now backed with $10.1 million in funding and has delivered over 1 million meals nationwide since launching eight months ago.
Co-founded by Forbes "30 Under 30" entrepreneurs Brett Podolsky and Jonathan Regev, The Farmer's Dog leverages smart technology and proprietary algorithms to create customized meal plans based on a dog's individual profile including age, breed, size, activity level and sensitivities. The fresh, veterinarian-designed food is then pre-portioned and delivered in personalized and ready-to-serve meals within days of preparation.
"We simply made a product that we wished existed for our own dogs," said Regev, co-founder and CEO of The Farmer's Dog. "This is an enormous and fast growing market, yet all the innovation seems to revolve around marketing instead of food quality and service. People are becoming better educated about what goes into pet food and simultaneously becoming more knowledgeable about the power food has on health. We saw a real opportunity to use a new business model to not only provide a more convenient experience but also a product that's far superior, healthier and simply not available through traditional retail channels."
By shipping directly to their customers on subscription, The Farmer's Dog circumvents retail stores, according to officials. Making fresh food also reduces the company’s costs for superior ingredients, which enables to The Farmer’s Dog to offer customers high-quality food at an affordable price point, with meal plans starting at just $11 per week.
The company's investors have also backed other direct-to-consumer businesses like Dollar Shave Club and Warby Parker. The fresh financing will be used to develop new products, grow customer experience teams and expand production capacity to bring fresh pet food to the mainstream.