The Farmer’s Dog wants to fill the bowls of canines everywhere with fresh food made especially for them. Based in New York City, the startup plans to expand its dog food delivery service after closing a $8.1 million Series A round led by Shasta Ventures. Returning investors Forerunner Ventures, Collaborative Fund, and SV Angel also participated.
This brings the total The Farmer’s Dog has raised so far to $10.1 million. Founded in 2015 by Brett Podolsky and Jonathan Regev, the company claims to have delivered over one million meals already and is the latest subscription-based startup backed by Shasta Ventures, whose success stories include Dollar Shave Club and Warby Parker.
Pet food is a big business—global retail sales were about $70 billion in 2015 ($24 billion in the U.S. alone), according to GfK market research, and have grown steadily despite the slow economy. In fact, the pet care industry is considered relatively recession-proof because people are willing to continue spending money on their furry companions even if they have to cut expenses elsewhere.
The idea for The Farmer’s Dog was formed after Podolsky began feeding his dog, a Rottweiler named Jada, home cooked meals on her vet’s recommendation. Jada suffered from chronic stomach issues since she was a puppy and Podolsky had already tried many types of commercial pet food to help her, but he says she wasn’t 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 healthy buzzwords like ‘real’ and ‘natural,’ the…