Helsinki-based startup Alvar Pet has raised €1 million in seed funding for its eco-friendly direct-to-dog service, on a mission to ‘minimise the carbon pawprint’ of pets. The round was led by Maki.vc, with participation from other Finnish and Swedish investors.
The startup currently offers a range of zero-emission dog foods made of Nordic ingredients such as Baltic herring, oats and faba beans. The products, organised into tailored meal plans, are delivered to the buyer’s door. The capital will help develop the ecommerce platform into something more scalable as the business plans to expand into new markets, starting with major cities in Sweden and Germany. “As dogs become an increasingly popular and prominent part of our lives, their environmental impact must be addressed. The industry has failed to offer sustainable solutions to conscious dog owners,” says Ilari Haataja, Alvar Pet CEO. Since its launch in April, the startup reports to have delivered over 300,000 meals. The company is also already iterating on its products based on customer feedback and CO2 emissions data. According to Alvar Pet, the new variant is their lowest-emission recipe so far.
“We saw from our data that big breed dogs were more likely to drop out. Big dogs consume most food, and therefore have the biggest climate effect,” Haataja said. “Creating this recipe based on what we’ve learnt from our customers was a big milestone.”
The founding team has some chops when it comes to the pet industry. Haataja was previously at EQT Partners and a board member at Nordic pet supply retailer Musti Group. Other founders include Henna Söderholm, who previously worked in R&D at global dog food company Royal Canin, Hanna Lemmetti and Sini Saalasti.
Photo: Ilari Haataja and Hanna Lemmetti