Lyka Pet Food, an Australia-based, human-grade dog food subscription outfit, announced in November 2019 that it bagged AU$500,000 (US$339,359) in pre-seed funding to expand its custom pet food business in 2020.

Lyka is only about two years old but is already one of the largest online tailored pet food subscription companies in Australia. It came to be after one Anna Podolsky and her dog, Lyka, made the switch from commercial to homemade dog food. The former management consultant then partnered with a veterinarian and pet nutrition expert and established Lyka as a premium dog food subscription service.

Lyka expanding Australia market presence

With its fresh funding, Lyka can now expand its current 70% coverage of the Australian market. Lyka's business started to really take off in April 2018, when two major supermarkets failed to stock up on popular pet food brands from Mars International due to a price dispute. With the pet food shortage, more Australians began to sign up for pet food subscriptions advertised as healthier alternatives to commercial kibble.

Lyka follows international Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) standards while sourcing locally produced, farm fresh ingredients including grass-fed beef and lamb, free-range chicken and vegetables. Lyka dog meals start at AU$2 (US$1.36) and they also offer a seven-day sampler box delivered for free.

“Consumers are leading a massive market shift — demanding health food for themselves and for their pets,” Podolsky said in a statement. “We are building a team of high caliber and motivated people who believe in our mission. Our Lyka products are designed from scratch to create the best possible nutrition for pets, without having to fit into a pre-existing supply chain or heavy food processing model.”

Capital raised will help company grow

Lyka's AU$500,000 fresh capital was raised within six weeks with support from leaders in the retail and supply chain sectors. Podolsky said the windfall will help her company grow rapidly and improve the lives of thousands of dogs across Australia.

Aside from Lyka, other Australian companies such as Scratch, Happy Healthy Dog, and Raw and Fresh are also riding the pet food subscription bandwagon. These companies are part of the US$1.93 billion Australia pet food market as of 2018, of which US$220 million come from online pet food and pet supply sales. The Australia pet food market is projected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 2.66% from 2019 to 2024.