London pet tech KatKin paws in €21.6 million to bring healthier food for our cats

The startup has developed an e-commerce platform with a proprietary meowalgorithm that helps customers build personalised boxes of fresh meals, perfectly portioned to their cat’s unique traits
London pet tech KatKin paws in €21.6 million to bring healthier food for our cats

Right meow, there are ruffly 200 million cats and dogs in European households, and in 2021 the pet population blossomed to a figure that's now twice as large as the EU population of children under 15. In so much, the pet care sector is a €30+ billion industry.

London-based online cat food ordering and delivery startup, KatKin has raised the (Purr)fect funding of €21.6 million to bring fresh and healthy food to cats worldwide. The traditional cat food kibble hasn’t really changed over the decades, and cat owners are starting to look for new alternatives that are made with improved research-based recipes. That’s where KatKin meows in.

Founded in 2019 by sibling duo Brett and Nikki O’Farrell, KatKin wants to become the cat food brand that pet parents can trust, with an uncompromising commitment to cats’ wellbeing. 

Brett O’Farrell, KatKin co-founder said: “KatKin began when Nikki and I questioned what we were feeding our cats Molly, Kiki and Columbus. The more we asked, the more horrified we were at what we found. So, we gathered an ambitious team willing to stick their noses up at the cat food chain. Right now, mainstream cat food is stale – packed with cheap ingredients, hard-to-understand labels and fluffed-up claims.”

The brand has developed an e-commerce platform with a proprietary algorithm that helps customers build personalised boxes of fresh meals, perfectly portioned to their cat’s unique traits: their age, weight, activity level, body shape and favourite flavours. Using a data-driven approach, the startup’s researchers are pawing in to develop further science-forward solutions to issues making cats unwell, from diabetes to renal disease.

The food replicates what cats evolved to eat in the wild – a high-quality protein, high moisture and grain-free diet such as that found in fresh meat. The product is also formulated by a board-certified veterinary nutritionist and each recipe uses 100% human-grade meat. The London-based company also manages the supply chain from sourcing to shipping, so its product is not just free from preservatives, fillers and mysterious so-called animal derivatives, but is also more personal, and avoids becoming mass-produced.

You’ve got to be kitten me, but the subscription service is available for about £1.75 a day. And the awesome (paw)some company is feeding about 80,000 cats across the U.K. According to the platform, over 80% of cat parents have reported real-life improvements in their cats. About 62% said their cat was more playful and energetic, 65% felt shiny, strokable coats and more than half reported improved digestion, as well as fewer trips to the vets. All better results at 25% less cost than existing premium brands. 

The Series A funding was led by Verlinvest and Perwyn, along with previous investor Octopus Ventures and strategic angel investors. The funding will be used by the company to invest in personalised health plans for cats, invest in more scientific research, and roll out new recipes.

Lopo Champalimaud, board director of Verlinvest, said: “The company plans to revolutionise the pet food sector by offering healthy and fresh cat food at competitive prices. This is a sector that Verlinvest has been looking at for some time and KatKin is exactly the kind of innovative and disruptive brand that we love to support on its way to global leadership. Our cats deserve better.”

Nikki O’Farrell, KatKin co-founder added: “We’re the highest-rated cat food brand on Trustpilot. It’s all about creating awareness among cat parents, bringing them together as a community to drive change in the cat food industry. With fresh, personalised and individual meals costing less than other premium brands and most mid-market brands, we’re on a mission to get all cats thriving.”

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