MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA — Lyka Pet Food, an Australian producer of fresh dog food, has announced a flagship manufacturing facility and distribution center in Dandenong South, Victoria. The young pet food company invested $16 million in the operation, which will create more than 100 jobs in the area, according to the Victoria State Government’s Department of Jobs, Skills, Industry and Regions.

The new facility will house new production lines with automated equipment, as well as a distribution center to increase Lyka’s distribution capacity fourfold. These operational improvements are expected to advance efficiency and support the company’s goal of providing diets that retain key nutrients through processing.

Many of the ingredients used in Lyka’s fresh dog foods will be sourced in or near Victoria, and the company will utilize regional supply chain partners, logistics providers and agricultural suppliers as much as possible.

Lyka distributes its fresh dog meals direct-to-consumer through its e-commerce platform. According to its website, the company has delivered more than 30 million meals to Aussie dogs, to date.

Matthew Muir, Ph.D., integrative veterinarian and co-founder of Lyka alongside Anna Podolsky, formulates the company’s diets with support from a team of veterinary nutritionists. Lyka uses individual factors such as weight, breed, lifestyle and activity level to devise tailor-made, portion-controlled fresh diets for its four-legged customers.

According to Animal Medicines Australia, nearly 70% of all Australian households own at least one pet. With this level of pet ownership, Lyka’s new facility aims to meet growing demand for highly nutritive, sustainable dog foods and treats made with local ingredients. The facility will also build on Victoria’s successful food and beverage manufacturing sector, which employs more than 77,000 people and is valued at roughly $40 billion.

Lyka has attracted several investments since it was founded in 2018. In 2019 and 2020, the company attracted more than $1.57 million in seed funding, followed by another $6.5 million AUD (approximately $4.81 million USD at the time) in July 2021 from Shearwater Capital, Wattle Hill Capital, Afterwork Ventures, and two strategic angel investors. In 2023, the company announced its total series B funding had reached $55 million.

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