Consumers are becoming more aware of their pets’ dietary requirements and overall health as they spend more time with furry (or nonfurry) companions during the pandemic.
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Edgard & Cooper, based in Belgium, is one of Europe’s pioneers in offering fresh pet food options and has raised 22 million euros (approx. $26 million) in Series B funding to support its expansion across the continent and to build brand awareness, Koen Bostoen, Edgard & Cooper co-founder, told Crunchbase News.
London-based investment fund The Craftory led Edgard & Cooper’s round, and existing investor DLF Ventures also participated. Including the new funding, the company has raised a total of 27 million euros, Bostoen said.
Elio Leoni Sceti, co-founder and chief crafter at The Craftory, said in an interview that the fresh pet food space of branded goods “is a category we love.” Edgard & Cooper’s storytelling stood out as did the company’s co-founders, who complement each other’s strengths, he said.
“We’ve seen the evolution of pet care be substantial,” Leoni Sceti said. “The humanization of pets has occurred, and especially during COVID-19, has become more evident.”
Bostoen, Louis Chalabi and Jürgen Degrande co-founded Edgard & Cooper in 2014 out of love for their dogs–even naming the company after them–to offer fresh pet food versus the traditional highly processed pet food.
“Historically, most brands used meat meals, and we are using fresh food inclusion,” Bostoen said. “This is our big differentiator. Our goal is to change the world with the impact of what we do–making pet food healthy and sustainable–and to change the global behavior of pet parents.”
The sustainability portion is important to the company, which has what Bostoen calls a “zero pawprint plan” that involves winding down to zero emissions by 2025, including 100 percent sustainable packaging and 100 ethical sourcing.
Bostoen estimates the market Edgard & Cooper is operating in to be worth approximately 13 billion euros, and competition in the fresh pet food space is growing.
The company already has a presence in 13 European countries, but intends to use the new funding to deepen its brand awareness in those markets, expand into new ones and invest in product development.
“France and the United Kingdom, in particular, are massive pet food markets, so there is a lot while space in front of us,” Bostoen said.
Blogroll illustration: Li-Anne Dias