London-based online cat food ordering and delivery startup KatKin has raised $22 million in Series A funding.
Founded by brothers Brett and Nikki O’Farrell, with backgrounds in finance and advertising, respectively, KatKin is a direct-to-consumer personalized cat food service.
KatKin’s service shares many similarities with food delivery products like Gousto, but it’s geared towards cat food.
Users pay a monthly subscription to cat food tailored to the cat’s attributes and needs, which is then delivered to your door.
The Series A round was led by Verlinvest and Perwyn, with participation from Octopus Ventures.
The founders said the new funding will be used to expand manufacturing capacity, research and development and marketing.
Both are cat owners, and they argue that the online sales market for specialty cat food is underserved, as dogs and their owners have captured the majority of investor attention – even though the global cat food market is considered the largest. Worth over $40 billion.
“There is no single global cat brand that is truly trustworthy and uncompromising,” Brett said.
“As a result, a lot of capital, especially in the emerging company category, tends to go to dog-first companies.”
The dog market is more visible and common to investors, Nikki said.
“Right now, it’s a very private relationship between cat parents and their cat in your home, so I think if investors don’t have cats themselves, investors who go into this space may not fully understand that.”
Siblings are pushing the unique recipes and meat content of the foods they make. According to the founders, some cat food manufacturers on the market have exaggerated the meat content of their products.
“Cats are harder to eat, and you do have an inherent challenge with palatability that dogs don’t have,” Brett said.
KatKin’s lunch boxes are made from steam-cooked and frozen meat and delivered to customers in insulated boxes. Cats are obligate carnivores and depend on meat for their nutrition. All of its recipes are formulated by veterinary nutrition experts.
“Cats need meat. Without the proper protein from meat, they can’t actually perform certain bodily functions,” Nikki said. “All of our meals are 100% fresh cooked meat. We want to reduce many of the risks associated with raw food manufacturing and production.”
Monthly subscriptions range from £50 to £64, Brett said. Currently the service is only available in the UK.
He added that the latest funding round will be used to strengthen its presence in the domestic market with a view to expanding internationally.
“The purpose of this funding is to demonstrate that the unit economics of the business are working in the UK. The UK is our home market, our test market. But the goal is to build a global cat brand. The program will come to the US sometime next year.”