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Mars Launches Division Aimed to Drive Pet Care Innovation


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Mars Petcare has launched of Kinship, a division of the company that aims to bring pet-startups, veterinarians, investors, entrepreneurs and partners from all aspects of the pet care industry together. Kinship will also provide access to data, science and industry expertise to these participants to help them in the areas of healthcare, nutrition and science.

"We’re excited about our new global division, Kinship, becoming a unique collaboration platform for entrepreneurs and innovators to create new products and services that deliver on our Purpose: A Better World for Pets," said Poul Weihrauch, president at Mars Petcare, which has global headquarters in McLean, Va. “There are extraordinary opportunities in data, science and connected technology. Match them with the expansive reach, resources and core capabilities of a global industry leader like Mars, and together we can create a powerful force for transforming pet care.”  

Kinship will focus on transformational opportunities, including:

  • Healthcare: As the demand for new and innovative care and treatment options for pets continues to grow, Kinship and its partners will look for new ways for science and technology to provide pet owners with care options that may more accessible, effective and personalized to fit the unique needs of their pets.
  • Nutrition: Given the relationship between diet and health and the emerging opportunities for individualized nutrition solutions, Kinship will work together with partners to find new ways to support pet health through nutrition.  
  • Science: For years, pet health conditions have gone undetected when better data and diagnostics solutions might have predicted or possibly prevented them. By applying new discoveries across many scientific fields ranging from microbiome biology to machine learning, the Kinship coalition of partners will work with experts to uncover ways to help change pet care through science.

“Our ambition for Kinship is to bring together the brightest minds and boldest businesses of the $100 billion pet care industry,” said Leonid Sudakov, president of Kinship. “We want Kinship to become a unique platform for collaboration, where founders, innovators and industry partners will connect to share their ambitions, access best talent and expertise, and engage on unlocking the most exciting opportunities for the future of pet care.’

The division will leverage its collaboration platform to build businesses like Whistle Labs, which is on a mission to celebrate life with pets and make pet ownership easier and smarter; Wisdom Health, which offers pet DNA-based product solutions; as well as engage partners on transformational initiatives like Pet Insight Project, a study of pet health. 

Kinship will offer various investment approaches, including Pet Project, a live pitch event built for entrepreneurs seeking to launch into pet care industry, Leap Venture Studio, a start-up accelerator focused on transforming pet care, and Companion Fund, a $100 million venture fund that provides growth capital and support to entrepreneurs addressing the needs of pets, pet owners and pet professionals.

Kinship Data & Analytics will partner to support the development of new science, uncover patterns of pet health and behavior, identify and analyze key areas of need and demand of pets and pet owners, leading to the development new products and services that better meet these needs.

Kinship partners will have access to experts across Kinship and Mars Petcare, in science, innovation, research and development, data, product management and other areas of expertise to help bring their visions to life.

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