Wild Earth, Inc., a startup reinventing pet food with biotech, announced it has closed its Series A with an investment of $11 million led by VegInvest, a venture capital firm supporting early-stage companies striving to replace the use of animals in the food system and other industries.
This is VegInvest’s second investment in Wild Earth; other current investors include Mark Cuban’s Radical Investments, Felicis Ventures, Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund, and Mars Petcare, bringing total funding to $16 million.
The investment is being used to accelerate Wild Earth’s development of its no-meat food for dogs made from an eco-friendly and renewably sourced fungi, a complete protein containing all ten essential amino acids. The company expects the dry kibble formula to be available in the second half of 2019.
Wild Earth also announced it has moved into its new headquarters in Southwest Berkeley at Outermost House, significantly expanding its R&D and business facilities. Outermost House, located in a historic space of a former chocolate factory, was envisioned by VegInvest in 2017 as a global innovation hub for vegan food tech companies.
“Wild Earth and VegInvest share a foundation of values and innovation in this effort to achieve a food system that works better for people, the planet, and animals,” said Wild Earth CEO Ryan Bethencourt. “Their experience helping future-of-food companies reach the market will absolutely increase our timeline for commercial availability of our dog food with fungi protein.”
Amy Trakinski, managing director of VegInvest, who joins Wild Earth’s board of directors, says: “We’re investing in Wild Earth not only to impact this market but because Ryan and his team can provide valuable leadership to other companies in the plant-based innovation space.” Other VegInvest investments include JUST and Veggie Grill.
Wild Earth also welcomed global investors in its funding round. Shanghai-based Bits x Bites is China’s first future-of-food fund. VECTR is a leading private equity group based in Hong Kong. Berlin-based P.O.V. is one of Germany’s leading food funds.
Wild Earth treats are currently available online at WildEarth.com, Amazon.com, PupJoy.com, select brick-and-mortar retail stores, and wholesale to pet food retailers.