SYDNEY, Australia — The fresh pet food trend is appealing to pet owners far and wide, and with it a trend toward pet diets formulated and processed at a human-grade standard. This has played a part in the success of Lyka, an online platform and pet food manufacturer based in Australia that closed its seed funding round on Nov. 17 with $500,000 AUD ($340,585 USD).
Lyka is similar to fresh, direct-to-consumer pet food companies operating in the US such as The Farmer’s Dog, which had secured $49 million in Series B funding as of January 2019.
The Australian fresh pet food brand held a six-week round of funding to earn the $500,000 AUD, which it will use to stimulate growth for the brand, expand operations and add to its core team over the next year.
“This capital raise will allow Lyka to grow rapidly and improve the lives of thousands of dogs across Australia,” said Anna Podolsky, founder of Lyka and former Bain & Company consultant.
A majority of the funding came from Australian retail and supply chain leaders, the company reported.
“Consumers are leading a massive market shift – demanding health food for themselves and for their pets. We are building a team of high calibre and motivated people who believe in our mission,” she added.
The company offers four formulas: grass-fed beef, grass-fed lamb, free-range chicken, and free-range chicken for dogs with food sensitivities. Each recipe includes offal ingredients. For example, the grass-fed beef recipe includes beef muscle, beef heart, beef kidney and beef liver.
Lyka dog foods start at $2 AUD per day depending on the size of the dog, according to the company. Pet owners build a profile for their dogs by answering questions about their breed and lifestyle, then Lyka suggests one of its four recipes and portion sizes. The meals can be delivered direct-to-consumer across approximately 70% of Australia.
All diets are grain- and legume-free. The company claims its ingredients are sourced locally as much as possible. Lyka dog food formulas are gently processed in a human-grade facility in Sydney.
Lyka was founded in 2018 by Podolsky. Formulas are developed with the help of Dr. Matthew Muir, a veterinary professional.
Read more about product development, ingredients and formulation.