There are approximately 60 million pet cats in the United States, accounting for 26% of all US households that have cats as companion animals. Despite this immense popularity, much of the pet industry’s focus is on dogs, and most cat products for cats are just repurposed dog products. Smalls is a consumer-grade, human-grade cat food brand specifically designed for cats and their loyal owners. Cat diets are tailored to your cat’s breed, size and health goals, and feature protein-rich, nutritious meals made up of high-quality ingredients with no additives or fillers. Launched in 2017, the brand now offers a range of all-inclusive products focused on improving digestive health, promoting a healthy weight in cats, and preventing chronic diseases such as diabetes, obesity and heart disease. It offers 16 flavor and texture combinations to cater to any cat’s palette. We are planning to open.
alley watch Interview with Smalls CEO and co-founder Matt Michaelson To learn more about the business, the company’s strategic plans, and the latest funding round, which brings the company’s total funding to $28 million, and much more.
Who are your investors and how much did you raise?
Smalls has announced a $19 million funding round. This latest round companion fund with additional investors including Left Lane Capital, Valor Capital, 301 Inc.the Venture Capital Division of General Mills, and the Ohio State University Endowment Fund. Founder Collective Additional investors from previous rounds.
What products or services does Smalls offer?
Smalls is the first DTC fresh cat food brand on the market. We are changing the way people feed their cats ultra-high protein fresh human food for healthier, more energetic cats. You’ll be able to pinpoint your concerns above and find the perfect formulations and food offerings. All of these are delivered to your doorstep.
What inspired you to start Smalls?
Growing up, I had an entrepreneur father who was really attached to the idea of building my own business as well, but I also wanted to start something positive and meaningful. And I grew up with cats and dogs. I knew I had something to do in this industry. Big Pet Food has long catered to dogs, but left cats and their health on the back burner. Smalls was created as a cat-only brand to prioritize feline health for their specific needs. We are dedicated to providing nutritious, wholesome and sustainably sourced food with no additives or fillers.
How are Smalls different?
Unlike other pet food brands, we make fresh food specifically for cats. Historically, the pet food industry has catered to dogs, but has focused on them in ways that leave them behind. It offers texture to accommodate even the pickiest cat palettes.
What is Smalls’ target market and size?
Smalls targets over 31.8 million cat households in the US. As pet parents invest more and more in products to care for their pets in a way that mirrors the way they care for themselves and their children, Smalls is committed to providing healthy, nutritious products that cat parents feel comfortable giving their pets. We offer high value products.
what is your business model?
Smalls is currently consumer focused and will transition to retail with this capital increase.
How are you preparing for a potential economic slowdown?
Pet food is a category that has proven to be recession-proof as the $106 billion pet industry continues unprecedented growth and is expected to exceed $277 billion by 2030.
What was the fundraising process like?
As with all rounds, the process was a little different than last time, with an increased focus on the results of our work and our finances.
What was the biggest challenge you faced in raising capital?
We still experience first-hand cultural prejudices against cats. It’s not uncommon for inventors to refuse to even speak to us. Another said, “Do cat people care about their cats as much as their dog parents do?” We see this bias as an opportunity, but sadly it’s also why cat innovation has lagged behind.
What factors in your business are driving investors to write you checks?
We are bullish about being a cat-first brand.For over a century, the pet industry has catered to both legacy and DTC branded dogs. Dedicated to cats, he’s capitalized as a market leader in a $106 billion industry. Beyond that, we know our customers – since our launch in 2017, we have maintained a 95% year-over-year customer retention rate to feed over 100,000 cats. 10 times more production capacity.
What milestones do you plan to achieve in the next six months?
Smalls will leverage the new funding to continue product innovation and bring new varieties to its current offering. With just 35% of a pet parent’s wallet being food, we’re looking to expand beyond the bowl. We’re building a cat-only brand that provides a place for cat parents to feel comfortable, and we’re opening a cat cafe in New York this fall.
What advice can you give to New York companies that haven’t injected fresh capital into their banks?
Stay focused, spend wisely, and remember the rush that comes with limited resources.
Where do you see the company going now in the near future?
The new funding helped clarify our vision for profitability. Sales have doubled compared to the previous year, and I am looking forward to future developments. Our team continues to grow, increasing our headcount by over 25% and continuing to innovate to provide cat parents with the very best products.
Where is the best location in the city to host an offsite team?
I’m a big believer in getting out in nature and creating spaces to focus on the people around me…that’s why I say Upstate New York.
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https://www.alleywatch.com/2023/03/smalls-fresh-cat-food-direct-to-consumer-brand-pet-food-matt-michaelson/ Smalls Raises Another $19M For High-Quality Fresh Cat Food Brand – AlleyWatch