Irish entrepreneur secures €17m for pet food start-up

Revenues up 700% last year at Butternut Box co-founded by Irishman Kevin Glynn

 

Butternut Box, a London-based fresh dog food business co-founded by Irishman Kevin Glynn, has raised £15 million (€17.4 million) in investment as it looks to expand into other markets, including the Republic.

Mr Glynn, who was one of eight Irish people to have been included in this year’s Forbes prestigious “30 under 30” list of leading young innovators, entrepreneurs and leaders, co-founded the business with best friend David Nolan in 2016.

The former Goldman Sachs traders came up with the idea for the business after Mr Nolan’s sickly dog Rudie recovered after being fed home-cooked meals. Realising that Rudie’s ill-health was largely a result of over-processed food, the two decided there was a gap in the market for a healthy dog food business.

The company has gone on to produce more than eight million meals for dogs across the UK and last year saw revenues rise by 700 per cent.

ButternutBox’s technology platform uses computer algorithms to work out the individual needs of each dog with dishes cooked with fresh ingredients and portioned according to a pet’s breed, weight, sex and exercise routine.

The latest funding round was led by European venture capital firms, Five Seasons Ventures and White Star Capital. Existing backers Passion Capital and Literacy Capital also participated alongside debt financier Kreos Capital.

Butternut Box, which has raised £21 million to date, said that it intended to use the new funding to fuel European and product expansion.

“We couldn’t ask for a better group of investors to be joining the Butternut journey. The whole team is really excited to further expand our product offering and really develop into a one-stop shop for all of your dogs needs. This latest fundraiser will also mean that expansion into Europe is imminently on the cards,” Mr Glynn said.

“Ireland is definitely on the road map for us – I obviously have a personal bias to start delivering into the country,” he added.

In addition to the new funding, Richard Flint, former chief executive at online bookie SkyBet, is to join the board as chairman. SkyBet was sold for £3.4 billion to the Canadian owner of PokerStars just more than a year ago.

“We’re delighted to welcome Richard on to the board. Given his experiences with SkyBet there is a huge amount that he brings to the table which is extremely relevant for the next growth path that Butternut is on,” said Mr Glynn.

Ivan Farneti, partner at Five Seasons Ventures, said it had been actively looking to invest in companies focused in the natural pet food space. “The team at Butternut Box was spot on in terms of their product positioning, their direct-to-consumer model and strong commercial traction,” he said.