Wild Earth Closes Series A for Biotech Vegan Dog Food
Wild Earth is developing high-protein pet food with eco-friendly and renewably sourced Koji, a fungus with all 10 essential amino acids that dogs need, according to company officials.
Wild Earth Inc. has closed its Series A with an investment of $11 million led by New York-based VegInvest, a venture capital firm supporting early-stage companies striving to replace the use of animals in the food system and other industries.
The investment is being used to accelerate Wild Earth’s development of its no-meat food for dogs made from an eco-friendly and renewably sourced fungi, a complete protein containing all 10 essential amino acids, according to the Berkeley, Calif.-based company. Wild Earth expects the dry kibble formula to be available in the second half of 2019.
“Wild Earth and VegInvest share a foundation of values and innovation in this effort to achieve a food system that works better for people, the planet and animals,” said Wild Earth CEO Ryan Bethencourt. “Their experience helping future-of-food companies reach the market will absolutely increase our timeline for commercial availability of our dog food with fungi protein.”
This is VegInvest’s second investment in Wild Earth. Other current investors include Mark Cuban’s Radical Investments, Felicis Ventures, Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund and Mars Petcare, bringing total funding to $16 million.
“Given the shocking amount of animal farming required for pet food, and the environmental strain caused by feeding companion animals, Wild Earth represents an important component of a more sustainable and humane food system,” said Amy Trakinski, managing director of VegInvest, who joins Wild Earth’s board of directors. “We’re investing in Wild Earth not only to impact this market but because Ryan and his team can provide valuable leadership to other companies in the plant-based innovation space.”
Wild Earth also welcomed global investors in its funding round, including Shanghai-based Bits x Bites, Hong Kong private equity group VECTR and Berlin-based P.O.V.