A puppy boom and accelerated growth in the home delivery market created the perfect storm for Sydney-based fresh pet food subscription service, Lyka, securing $1.57 million in seed round funding amidst COVID-19 crisis.
The human-grade dog food service’s latest round of funding will increase production to match growing demand, fast-track product development and extend the recipe range.
Founder and CEO of Safety Culture, Luke Anear, and co-founder and COO of Lendi, Sebastian Watkins, are two of the investors who are backing continued growth for the disruptive company rated by customers as Excellent (4.8/5) on Trustpilot.
Anear said, “Tech disruption doesn't always take the shape of a platform or a device. Sometimes it’s simply taking a tired traditional industry and reinvigorating it with what the current market wants in an improved direct-to-consumer model. Lyka successfully addresses two key needs of the modern dog owner: nutritious produce in a delivery subscription format that suits their lifestyle.”
He continues, “Steep growth in the demand for, and subsequent adaptation to, delivery services, plus to a boom in dog ownership, have certainly worked in Lyka’s favour -- but the use of innovative technology to deliver a high quality product and customer experience is an investable business model regardless of the climate.”
Lyka was created by former Bain & Company consultant, Anna Podolsky, dissatisfied with the nutritional content of premium dog food available for her Border Collie cross who was experiencing several health conditions. After sighting the dramatic health transformation in her Lyka - and the brand’s namesake - through home cooking her meals, she abandoned her career and made improving the health of other dogs her full time mission.
Podolsky says, “Traditional dog food from big industry players is substandard, and is designed to achieve minimal nutritional requirements, not necessarily for dogs to thrive.
“Witnessing the remarkable and quick improvement in Lyka’s energy, coat, and even the reversal of her tooth decay, I was driven to make the benefits of dog food made with real ingredients - what feed ourselves - not only well-known but accessible for all.
“Two years later, I’m proud to see so many Australians - animal lovers and investors alike - appreciate the value in our real, human-grade quality food, and I’m thrilled for the opportunity to continue to provide it on an even larger scale.”
Co-founded by leading holistic vet, Dr Matthew Muir, Lyka has already served over 400,000 bespoke meals to Australian dogs based on their individual nutritional needs.
While cat trends continue, the pandemic has added to overall slow-growth treatment of the cat food market.
Premiumization and humanization, as well as automation, fueled continued operation growth in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic.