Pet Plate, a leading subscription service in the direct-to-consumer fresh pet food industry, announced today that it closed $9 million dollars in Series A funding. The round was led by DFE Capital Management and 301 INC, the venture capital arm of General Mills. Additional investors include Marco Polo and Fernbrook Capital Management LLC, along with existing investors, The Yard Ventures and Castor Ventures.
Pet Plate's fresh-cooked meals are formulated by a leading veterinary nutritionist to provide complete and balanced meals for pets at all stages of life. The meals are kettle-cooked in a USDA facility, flash-frozen to lock in freshness, and delivered to consumers as a personalized subscription service. There are no rendered meats or by-products, no artificial preservatives or additives, and the meals are made with human-grade meats, fruits and vegetables.
“The pet food category is one of the largest food categories in the U.S, and it’s still growing,” says John Haugen, managing director of 301 INC. “Pet owners are driving the humanization and premiumization trends as they look for the same quality meals to feed their pets as they want for themselves, which is why we believe in the customer-centric approach that Pet Plate has taken.”
According to Packaged Facts, the $30 billion U.S. pet food market is expected to grow 2.6% a year on average over the next five years, easily outpacing the 1% annual growth rate for packaged human food. Much of that growth will come from premium food, which is expected to overtake mass by 2027, while ecommerce is expected to become the second largest sales channel, representing roughly 25% of the pet food market, by 2023.
The new funding will be used to expand the company’s product offering, including new recipes, organic treats, and nutritional supplements to offer a holistic solution for online shoppers. Pet Plate will expand its team and corporate infrastructure to scale the business and support rapid growth. Additionally, Pet Plate will use the proceeds to expand its customer base with increased brand and performance marketing both online and offline.
“With the backing of industry leaders and world-class investors in this round, Pet Plate is now poised to scale its business and its brand to reach millions of dogs across the country,” said Gertrude Allen, CEO of Pet Plate. “This milestone represents the next leg of our journey to improve the lives of pets through better nutrition.”
Pet Plate was founded in 2016 by Renaldo Webb who made it his mission to provide better quality dog food in a more convenient fashion. With an appearance on Shark Tank in December 2016, the company quickly grew into a national brand that to date has served more than 9.2 million meals to over 300 breeds in 48 states and Washington, D.C.
Pet owners want a lot from their pet food brands. They want primary proteins that suit what they believe is best for their animal. They want grains or they don't. They want something customized, but it has to be easy to understand.
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