MINNEAPOLIS — General Mills, Inc. has expanded its pet portfolio through its acquisition of Fera Pets, Inc., a holistic pet supplement company co-founded by a veterinarian. The acquisition was announced on Nov. 9 in tandem with the creation of General Mills’ growth equity fund.
Fera Pets has been acquired by and will be integrated into the new growth equity fund, which aims to acquire, scale and accelerate “strategically aligned businesses for future integration into the company’s core portfolio,” according to General Mills.
The fund will serve as the third pillar of Gold Medal Ventures, which represents General Mills’ “disruptive innovation ecosystem,” and co-exists with the company’s internal venture arm, G-Works, and its corporate venture capital entity, 301 INC, which recently invested in direct-to-consumer cat food company Smalls.
“The pet wellbeing category is on the rise, as more families look to take care of their pets the same way they take care of their own health,” said John Parrish, vice president of disruptive growth at General Mills. “We’re excited to welcome Fera Pets, Inc. to its new home and look forward to partnering to scale the brand and bring more high-quality pet supplement products to more pets.”
Fera Pet offers science-backed supplements for pets that fuse Eastern and Western medicinal practices through high-quality ingredients and veterinary expertise. Michelle Dulake, DVM, co-founder of the company, established the brand with her lifelong friend, Emily Hsu, who holds marketing and e-commerce experience.
“We are thrilled to join the General Mills family and embark on a new chapter of growth for our business,” Dulake said. “Fera Pets, Inc. was created after recognizing a lack of transparency in the pet supplement category and a gap in the market for a holistic approach to our pets’ wellbeing. With the support of General Mills’ scaling capabilities, we are looking forward to furthering our mission to create better lives for pets and their families.”
Brands acquired through General Mills’ new growth equity fund, including Fera Pets, will remain founder-led and independently operated, but will benefit from the company’s access to knowledge and talent to support business growth.
“In the venture capital arm, we are constantly scouting for passionate, relentless founders where General Mills has a distinct ability to accelerate their growth,” said Johnny Tran, managing director, 301 INC, which sources opportunities for the growth equity fund. “Co-founders Michelle and Emily put their hearts and souls into Fera Pets, Inc., and their passion makes them a perfect first partner for the growth fund.”
According to General Mills, its Gold Medal Ventures entity will continue to focus on macro-opportunities along the food chain.
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