Irishman's homemade dog food firm raises £1m in seed funding to scale up
Startup Butternut Box, which makes home-made dog food, has raised £1m (€1.13m) in seed funding.
The London-based company's founders - Irishman Kevin Glynn (27) and David Nolan (30) - left jobs at Goldman Sachs to start the business.
The money comes from early-stage investors Passion Capital and the company said it would be used to scale the business up.
The business model is to home-deliver the freshly made meals, which are tailored for the requirements of each individual dog.
"People view dogs as part of the family, but often, diet-wise, pets get left behind," Mr Glynn said.
"Pet owners are left choosing their dog food in an aisle cluttered with washing powder and bin bags and dominated by a few unhealthy choices."
"There is nothing in the meals we wouldn't eat ourselves," he added.
The company has cooked more than 250,000 individual meals since it launched in April 2016.
Mr Glynn and Mr Nolan began working on the business at weekends in a family kitchen during their time at Goldman.
The men see an opportunity to carve out a slice of the lucrative British pet food market, with pet obesity a growing concern.
They are now based at a premises in west London.
Last year, the British Veterinary Association (BVA) said that obesity was the biggest health and welfare concern for UK vets.
"Although many people believe they are being kind to their animals by providing treats and bigger food portions, they are instead - unintentionally - contributing to their pet's poor health and limiting their lifespan, the BVA said.
"Many owners also give their pets human food as a treat - however, one human biscuit can equate to a whole packet when fed to an animal due to their smaller body size," the BVA added.
"Any pet can become obese, and it is therefore very important to understand how to feed them correctly.
"If owners are in any doubt about their pet's diet or unsure of the right food or portion size for their animal, they should speak to a local vet."