New York-based Smalls cat food subscription company, has raised $19 million from investors including General Mills’ venture capital arm 301 Inc and the Mars-affiliated Companion Fund.
The direct-to-consumer start-up focuses entirely on cat food. Smalls said it will use the investment to launch into retail for the first time.
It also plans to increase staff numbers by 25%.
Smalls said cats have been “chronically underserved and underinvested in, despite there being cats in 25% of US households.” Co-founder and CEO Matt Michaelson said cats were in “dire need” of innovation in the food category.
This funding round brings Smalls’ total funding raised to $34 million. Other investors in the round were Left Lane Capital, Valor Capital, and the Ohio State University endowment fund.
In a statement, Smalls said that with the funding, it 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 cat food company also plans to increase employment by 25%.
Founded in 2017, Smalls has fed more than 100,000 cats with its subscription-based fresh food service, generating eight figures in sales, the company said in the press release.