SAN FRANCISCO — On Nov. 19, private equity firm Alpine Investors launched a pet-focused omnichannel platform, Antelope. The private equity will invest between $100 million and $150 million in equity to fund Antelope’s growth and strategy.
Antelope will be led by Wendy Wen, founder and chief executive officer, who previously served as co-founder and chief operating officer of SENREVE, an omnichannel luxury handbag company. Wen raised more than $23 million for the company and built it into a globally recognized brand in under five years, according to Alpine.
“We are thrilled to expand our investing opportunities to founders who are transforming the pet consumable space,” said Graham Weaver founding partner at Alpine. “We have known Wendy for many years. Her ambition, joyous personality, and passion for partnering with innovators perfectly position her to lead Antelope. Our team is delighted to support Wendy’s vision of creating an ecosystem of high-quality, natural products for pet lovers.”
Antelope will aim to accelerate growth for pet consumables brands by funding marketing, omnichannel distribution, operational infrastructure and cost initiatives.
As its first move, Antelope has acquired Bocce’s Bakery, a natural, limited-ingredient pet treat company founded by Andrea and Natalie Tovar in 2010. Bocce’s Bakery currently offers more than 75 dog treat SKUs and plans to launch a line of cat treats in the future. The brand is sold in the pet specialty channel, grocery and big box retailers such as Target, PetSmart and Petco.
"We started Bocce’s in a small oven and could not be more proud of how our customers have stood behind our mission over the past decade. In considering the next step in Bocce’s growth trajectory, we have found Alpine to be unique in their energy, enthusiasm, and care for our brand," Andrea said. "We are confident that Alpine and Wendy will continue to build on Bocce’s strong foundation while maintaining Bocce’s quality promise and our commitment to making a positive change in the pet aisle. We are excited about the opportunities that partnering with Alpine will unlock for Bocce’s and look forward to this next chapter in the Bocce’s story.”
Following the acquisition, the Tovar sisters will continue with Bocce’s Bakery as senior advisors to the company. Bocce’s Bakery will continue operations under its own brand name.
“Our vision for Antelope is to be that one-stop shop for pet owners searching for natural products with healthy, limited ingredients,” Wen said. “I’m ecstatic to partner with Alpine given their founder-friendly M&A playbook and their PeopleFirst operating philosophy, where they help companies recruit and build world-class teams. I am excited to build a platform that can be the perfect future home for other like-minded founders. Together, we share a belief that success starts with great people and an unwavering commitment to our founders and our pets.”
Aside from its recent deal with Bocce’s Bakery, Alpine shared Antelope is actively seeking partnerships in the pet consumables space.
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