KatKin, a London-based online cat food ordering and delivery start-up, has closed a $22 million Series A round.
Founded by siblings Brett and Nikki O’Farrell, from finance and advertising backgrounds respectively, KatKin is a direct-to-consumer service for personalized cat food.
KatKin’s service has many similarities to meal kit delivery products like Gousto, but for cat food.
Users pay for a monthly subscription of cat food tailored to their cat’s qualities and needs and delivered to their home.
The Series A round was led by Verlinvest and Perwyn with participation from Octopus Ventures.
The founders said the new funds will be invested in expanding production capacity, research and development and marketing.
The duo, both cat owners, believe there is an underserved market for online specialty cat food sales, as dogs and their owners have garnered most of the attention from investors – even though the global cat food market is expected to is valued at over $40 billion.
“There is no single global cat brand that is truly reliable and uncompromising,” said Brett.
“As a result, a lot of the capital, especially in the emerging-caps category, tends to go to underdog companies.”
Nikki said the dog market was more visible and widespread for investors to latch on to.
“A cat parent and their cat is a very private relationship right now inside your home and so I think that’s maybe something that’s not fully understood by investors coming into the space if they don’t have cats themselves.”
The brothers push the unique recipes and meat content of the food they make. According to the founders, some cat food manufacturers on the market overestimate the meat content of their products.
“Cats are more difficult and you have an inherent challenge for palatability that you don’t have with dogs,” Brett said.
KatKin’s meal boxes consist of meat that has been steamed and frozen and delivered to customers in insulated boxes. Cats are obligate carnivores, depending on meat for their diet. All his recipes have been formulated by a veterinary nutritionist.
“Cats need meat. There are certain bodily functions that they really can’t do without the proper protein that comes from meat,” Nikki said. “All of our meals are 100% fresh cooked meat. We wanted to reduce many of the risks associated with raw food production and production.”
Monthly subscriptions range from £50 to £64, Brett said. The service is currently only available in the UK.
It added that this latest round of funding will be used to strengthen its presence in its domestic market with a view to expanding internationally.
“What this funding is intended to do is demonstrate that the economics of the business work in the UK. The UK is very much our home market, our test market. But the ambition is to build a global cat brand .The plan is to enter the US sometime next year.”