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‘Clean-Meat’ Pet Food Company Raises $1.2M

The seed funding will drive research and development.

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Rich Kelleman, co-founder/CEO; Pernilla Audibert, co-founder/CTO; and Luis Brandao, senior research scientist, Bond Pet Foods.

BOULDER, CO — Bond Pet Foods Inc., a Boulder-based company working with biotechnology to make “nutritious, animal-free and protein-rich pet food,” has raised seed funding totaling $1.2 million.

Employing the same fermentation technology that is used to produce ingredients for cheese-making or insulin for diabetics, Bond “adjusts the process to instead harvest high-quality meat proteins like chicken, turkey, beef, pork and fish, but without the animal,” according to a press release. Bond was co-founded by Rich Kelleman, CEO, and Pernilla Audibert, CTO, in 2017.

With its proprietary approach, animal muscle protein genes are taken from a farm animal and added to a microbe such as yeast, then put into a fermentation tank and fed simple sugars, vitamins and minerals. This produces proteins that are “nutritionally identical to their meat counterparts without the environmental, animal welfare and safety downsides,” according to the company. The ingredients are then used as the foundation of Bond’s complete recipes.

The Seed round is led by Lever VC, a venture capital fund specializing in alternative protein investments, with Agronomics, KBW Ventures, Plug and Play Ventures, Andante Asset Management and others participating.

“What makes us so excited about Bond Pet Foods is that it’s the first clean-meat company producing meat protein in a way that doesn’t require major technological breakthroughs to get to price parity with conventional meat,” said Nick Cooney, Founder and Managing Partner at Lever VC. “We don’t think there’s any other company out there with the potential to disrupt the $100 billion pet food market as much as Bond Pet Foods.”

This round of funding will drive the research and development needed to develop and scale Bond’s animal protein production and to debut its first consumer product early next year, a protein-packed dog treat bar made with a pure yeast protein. It also serves as an important first step in elevating the use of ingredients made through microbial fermentation in pet food, and educating the public about its merits, according to the release.

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“This raise gives us the capital to make strides with our technology and introduce pet parents to a new and better way of feeding their dogs and cats,” Kelleman said. “We started Bond to deliver high nutrition to our pets without harm to other animals or to our planet, and we’re excited to bring our transformative products to the world in the months ahead.”

Since launching in 2017, PETS+ has won 16 major international journalism awards for its publication and website. Contact PETS+'s editors at editor@petsplusmag.com.

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