April 1, 2022
Neobites, Native Pet, FluentPet
🐶 Industry News
– Recently spoke with Wesley Cooper & Winslow Marshall, founders of Neobites, an Austin-based startup that sells direct-to-consumer dog supplements. The two have marketing backgrounds and, in a sign of the times, met over Zoom in a breakout room of a networking event. The pair is strongly committed to creating sustainable pet nutrition, so the four supplements they make are powered by cricket protein. According to Wesley, if America’s dogs & cats had their own country, its meat consumption would rank fifth in the world. The company is also exploring the use of black soldier fly larvae in their products.
Neobites sees plenty of room for growth: global sales of insect-based pet food hit $7 billion last year and are projected to reach $17 billion by 2030. Most of this growth is driven by pet owners worried about the climate cost of traditional pet food. The company will be looking to raise funding soon and the pair can be reached through their website or via LinkedIn accounts: (Wesley, Winslow.)
– Chewy had an earnings call this week and the results were mixed:
- Sales for 2021 were $8.89 billion, a 24% increase over 2020
- Total active customers hit 20.7 million
- The company lost $73.8 million last year
The company is working on:
- expanding its presence in the prepared pet meal niche, which they believe will grow into a $3 billion market by 2025
- adding sponsored ads to its website. These will be pay-per-click (PPC) ads that pet product suppliers can buy on Chewy.com
– Applications are now open for Leap Ventures new cohort for female and/or POC founders in Europe. Ten pet startups will be selected for a week of mentorship and networking, with one lucky company receiving $20,000.
💰 Financing & Deals
• Native Pet , a St. Louis startup that makes pet supplements, has landed a $6 million Series A round. Funding came from the Mars Companion Fund and CAVU Venture Partners (backers of The Farmers Dog & Made by Nacho.)
• FluentPet , a San Diego startup that makes tiles to help dogs communicate, won the $10,000 Purina Pet Care Innovation Prize.