Zenoo, a Lithuanian startup offering freeze-dried dog food, has attracted €300,000 (US$325,000) in pre-seed financing from a group of investors from Nordic countries and Central-Eastern Europe, and is readying to secure a further €500,000 (US$540,000) through the Funderbeam platform between April and May 2022. The funds are intended to facilitate the company’s international expansion and investments in manufacturing.
Pet food production capacities to rise
Mindaugas Krisciunas, the co-founder and co-chief executive officer of Zenoo, said the company needs the pre-seed funding round to accelerate its marketing efforts in a number of markets and invest in ramping up production capacities for its freeze-dried raw dog food.
“We started in Lithuania, which is our home and core market. To secure our production capacities, we have two manufacturing partners in Poland who have substantial experience from the meat and freeze-drying industries,” he said.
The startup’s founders created the pet food brand to develop products for pets suffering from various health problems, focusing on raw food delivered directly to their owners. Agota Jakutyte, the start-up’s chief executive and co-founder, is actively engaged in promoting the brand, and for some time was the host of a show dedicated to healthy pet nutrition that aired on Lithuanian television.
International expansion drive
“Last October, we embarked on our international expansion,” Krisciunas said. “Some of the markets where we sell our products include Switzerland, Germany, Austria, the UK, Norway and Poland. These are the markets in which we have a rising number of subscribers to our fresh pet food supply service.”
Established in September 2019, the Lithuanian startup has a goal of becoming the number one freeze-dried healthy dog food subscription service in the European Union, Zenoo’s co-founder said.
“Within this market segment, there’s no established leader, and we aim for the top spot,” Krisciunas explained. “Freeze-dried raw dog food is fresh, natural and whole food. Freeze drying makes it convenient and simple to serve. We need enough marketing budget and production capacities to increase our output and secure new clients.”
Zenoo currently has more than 500 monthly active subscribers to its service, with the new funding round expected to enable the Lithuanian company to add a further 1,000 within the next six months, he said.