Portuguese startup Barkyn, a subscription service for pets who we included in our 2021 list of promising Portuguese startups to watch, has announced a further €3 million investment, extending its Series A to €8 million.
Barkyn had an impressive 2020 where it scaled fast to meet growing demand from dog owners. Due to its recent fast growth, foodtech specialist Five Seasons Ventures has invested in Barkyn and will support its expansion and future product development. Five Seasons Ventures joins previous lead investor Indico Capital Partners, All Iron Ventures, Portugal Ventures and Shilling Capital, in supporting the company.
Since Barkyn launched in 2017, the Portuguese business has raised a total of €10 million. The Series A will be used to create new products, enhance the existing nutrition and telehealth service, and expand the business. Barkyn currently serves customers in Spain, Portugal and Italy, and aims to be the dominant pet service brand in Southern Europe.
Barkyn’s subscription service for pets combines healthy food using fresh meat with a dedicated remote online veterinarian. Customers can get specialised food and personalised treats and supplements for their dog monthly or as often as they need it. The company provides customers with more convenience, a better price and a highly personalised offer. Barkyn vets are available to answer questions about the diet of the dog and general questions that may help avoid any unnecessary trips and costs to see a vet.
Being able to personalise the food to match the dog and to focus on nutrition is a core mission for the company. Recently the company created ‘Barkyn Complex’, a trademarked anti-inflammatory supplement that can help decrease the probability of cancer. It has also launched a pet insurance product to its customers in Portugal to provide all-around support for pets and their owners.
André Jordão, Barkyn’s CEO and Co-Founder commented: “Dogs are family, and just like their humans, we want to ensure they get the best product, support, and customer experience they deserve. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to nutrition and what the body needs, and we solve this based on our knowledge, existing products and continued research and development. In 2020 we scaled fast due to demand and with Five Seasons investing and bringing their expertise to the team, we can work towards our vision of becoming the dominant holistic pet service brand.”
Research shows that in 2019, there were 87.5 million pet dogs across Europe and across Italy, Portugal and Spain there were over 15.5 million. During the pandemic, there has been increasing demand for dogs as more people spend their days working from home. In 2020 Barkyn experienced 40 per cent growth across each quarter across Southern Europe.
Commenting on the investment in Barkyn, Five Seasons’ Founding Partner Niccolo Manzoni said: “Barkyn is a unique company within Southern Europe, where the region has higher levels of pet ownership but fewer inspiring digital pet care brands. Combining personalised food with telemedicine and, in the case of Portugal, insurance, gives customers one destination for the well-being of their pets. The company’s core focus on innovative product and customer experience convinced us to invest.”
Cristina Fonseca, Partner at Indico Capital Partners, added: “We are pleased to see Barkyn achieving its targets and gathering momentum in the market while keeping innovation as a core business differentiator. As early backers of the team, we are also happy that Five Seasons is joining the journey and adding its expertise which will help fuel the next phase of growth and expansion”.
Focused on the well-being of dogs and their families, Barkyn’s current revenue comes from its own-branded products, with formulas developed and created in-house. The brand has more than 50 products, ranging from food formulas, snacks and food supplements, supported by an internal network of more than 30 veterinarians.
For every Barkyn meal plan sold, the company donates one meal to a shelter dog and is currently working with 80 associations across Southern Europe. To date, it has donated over a tonne of food. During the pandemic, it launched a self-service vet line for anyone to speak with Barkyn vets directly on how to protect their dog and family during the pandemic with tips or with assistance to avoid unnecessary travel to the vet.