SYDNEY — Lyka, an Australian fresh dog food manufacturer, announced this month it has received $6.5 million AUD (approximately $4.81 million USD) in its latest funding round, including investments from Shearwater Capital, Wattle Hill Capital and Afterwork Ventures.
Two strategic angel investors — Craig Blair, founding chairman of Pet Circle, and Paul Wilson, founder and former chief executive officer of Petbarn — also participated in the funding round.
Lyka stated it will leverage these investments to scale its current production capacity to meet growing demand, accelerate research and development capabilities, and expand distribution internationally.
"We want to challenge the accepted way we feed our pets,” said Anna Podolsky, chief executive officer at Lyka. “Many consumers don’t know that there are alternatives, but they do have a choice that can keep their dog’s best interests at heart. I'm incredibly proud to see that natural feeding is being embraced on a larger scale, and dog owners see the direct benefits of a fresh food diet. Our dogs are like family, so it's only fair that they eat like it, too."
The company is focused on developing portion-controlled, fresh alternatives to processed pet food formats. Since it was founded in 2018, the company has sold more than 1.5 million meals for dogs throughout Australia. Matthew Muir, DVM, head of product and co-founder at Lyka, play a key role in the nutritional development of each Lyka diet.
"Our relationship with our pets continues to evolve, where we want to treat them more and more like humans and do the right things for them,” Wilson commented. “About 50%+ of the Australian market are already home cooking meals for their pets and making an informed choice about what they eat, but they're not necessarily producing a balanced diet. Lyka addresses that market by offering more choice and more healthy meal options."
In November 2019, Lyka raised $500,000 AUD (roughly $340,585 USD at the time) in a six-week funding round, followed by another $1.6 million investment in August 2020. This latest investment of $6.5 million marks the fresh pet food company’s largest funding round to date.
“We typically invest in software companies, which have embraced recurring revenue streams,” said Zac Zavos, co-founder of Shearwater Capital. “When you look at the data in terms of the customer cohorts, there is a clear opportunity for Lyka as a scalable subscription model within the pet food category. Anna is the founder we're backing to really scale this opportunity."
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