The Farmers Dog, a customized pet food subscription service, scoops up $8.1 million

The Farmers Dog am willing to fill the bowl of canines everywhere with fresh food made especially for them. Based in New York City, the startup plans to expand its dog food bringing service after shutting a $8.1 million Series A round led by Shasta Ventures. Returning investors Forerunner Ventures, Collaborative Fund, and SV Angel likewise participated.

This delivers the total The Farmers Dog has raised in so far to $10.1 million. Founded in 2015 by Brett Podolsky and Jonathan Regev, the company claims to have given over one million snacks already and is the last subscription-based startup backed by Shasta Ventures, whose success tales include Dollar Shave Club and Warby Parker.

Pet food is a big businessglobal retail sales were about $70 billion in 2015 ($ 24 billion in the U.S. alone ), according to GfK market research, and has been an increase steadily despite the slow economy. In reality, the pet care industry is considered comparatively recession-proofbecause people are willing to continue spending money on their furry companions even if they have to cut expenditures elsewhere.

The idea for The Farmers Dog was formed after Podolsky began feeding his puppy, a Rottweiler identified Jada, home cooked snacks on her veterinarians recommendation. Jada suffered from chronic belly issues since she was a puppy and Podolsky had already tried many types of commercial pet food to help her, but he says she wasnt cured until he started making all her food.

It got us looking into the pet food industry. We noticed that while all of the marketing revolved around health buzzwords like real and natural, the products inside the handbag can often the same highly processed whodunit food left on the shelf for a year or two, Podolsky and Regev told TechCrunch in an email.

We thought if we could create a subscription for each dogthen why wouldnt we? They devour the same thing everydaywe could establish the food fresh, hop-skip the middlemen, and give a product thats truly health, affordable, and simply not available in traditional retail channels.

Since hounds are usually happy to eat the same thing, unlike their more finicky human family members, The Farmers Dog is able to send multiple weeks worth of food at a time, instead of simply a few snacks, and save on bringing costs.

Our system is very unique in that it optimizes the amount we mail depending on the cost to ship and the dogs wants, said Regev. This route our cost to deliver is far less than what wed be paying to a distributor or retailer, and we can expend those savings back into product quality.

The foundersbootstrapped the company for a year while cooking puppy food in a small commercial kitchen in Brooklyn. The company banquet designs currently start at $11 per week and are customized based on each hounds age, spawn, sizing, activity level, and health needs. Before bringing, The Farmers Dog divides food into individual provides based on each animals caloric wants, since the recommended parcels on many commercial pet food packs are often too big.

Podolsky and Regev say their products are sourced and created to human-grade criteria, utilizing USDA and FD-Ainspected parts that are prepared in facilities with safety standards usually reserved for human food.

The commercial pet food industry is plagued with remembrances, so quality is something we are serious about, “theyre saying”. We simply use human-grade parts and facilities, and have traceability to know where each part terminates up. We manufacture food on demand so good-for-nothing ever sits in a storage or deep freezer for months, which reduces any probability of foodborne diseases.

In order to scale up, the startup relies on a proprietary algorithm to customize meal designs while keeping costs down. It likewise collects data and tracks improvements from customers whose hounds have similar profiles to improve its products. The Farmers Dogs new funding will be used to develop brand-new products, hire more people for its customer support and tech teams, and develop the startups production capacity.

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