Glenn Polyn//March 28, 2023//
Glenn Polyn //March 28, 2023//
Press release: Smalls
Smalls, the first-to-market DTC fresh cat-only food brand, announced it has raised $19 million. This most recent round was led by Companion Fund with additional investors including Left Lane Capital, Valor Capital, 301 INC, General Mills’ venture capital arm and Ohio State University’s endowment fund. Founder Collective is an additional investor from a previous round. Since launching in 2017, the brand has generated eight-figures in sales to feed more than 100,000 cats.
This investment from some of the biggest names in legacy pet food indicates a consensus in the industry that high-quality treatment of our pets is showing no signs of slowing, and the premium pet food space will continue to complement the industry as it grows.
Smalls is changing the way people feed their cats with ultra-high protein, human-grade fresh food for healthier, more energetic cats. For over a century, cats’ needs have been secondary to their canine counterparts, as pet brands tailor products to capture the dog-minded consumer, resulting in a product that isn’t nutritionally sound for felines.
“Cats have been chronically underserved and underinvested in, despite there being cats in 25 percent of U.S. households,” said Matt Michaelson, co-founder and CEO of Smalls. “Smalls is committed to investing exclusively in cats so we can continue to bring innovation to a customer in dire need of healthier products.”
The pet industry is expected to surpass more than $277 billion by 2030, as pet parents increasingly invest in products to care for their pets in a way that mirrors how they would care for themselves or a child. Smalls is capitalizing on the opportunity to be the leading voice for cats providing humane and nutritional fresh food solutions for the more than 45.3 million cat parents in the U.S.
“What set Smalls apart is their unwavering dedication to improving feline health and well-being,” said Cindy Cole, DVM and technical partner at Companion Fund. “Cats are notoriously picky customers, but Smalls has cracked the code on creating fresh, minimally processed meal food plans that cats love, and we are excited to be part of their growth story.”
With the influx of capital, Smalls will further invest in its mission of creating fresh food for cat health in a humane and sustainable manner. The funds will be used to make Smalls more accessible as the DTC-founded brand enters into retail for the first time and increases product offerings. Smalls’ team is one of the most diverse teams in the pet industry, with a strong cat-first brand, but people-first culture. The recent fundraise will help expand headcount by nearly 25 percent during a time of mass layoffs, offering employees a fully remote, four-day work week.