Rejected on Shark Tank, this pet food entrepreneur recently raised $19 million. This is how he did it

Meet Renaldo Webb, an entrepreneur and founder of PetPlate, a fresh-cooked pet food company. According to him, the idea for the company came from his previous engagement with pet food companies as a consultant.

Rejected on Shark Tank, this pet food entrepreneur recently raised $19 million. This is how he did it

While consulting for the pet food companies, he realized that low-quality ingredients were being used in preparing the pet food and felt he could offer something superior on the market.

“I wanted to provide a higher quality product where you can trust the ingredients and it was personalized where it meets the needs of your dog,” Webb told Forbes.

Webb started his company in 2017 because of his passion for the pet industry although his background is in Physics. He studied Physics at MIT but he soon discovered that he wasn’t “going to solve string theory” and that he wanted to do something different with his life.

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He got a job as an analyst for McKinsey in LA and a senior associate at a private equity firm in New York prior to starting his pet business.

Webb produces his pet food from a kitchen in Dallas and his company usually makes the delivery itself or through a retail partner.

“We are a human grade pet food company, which means that all of the ingredients we use is cooked, processed and delivered follows human food safety guidelines,” Webb said. “All of our ingredients you can find at a local grocery store, we formulated them for dogs with the help of our veterinary nutritionists.”

In 2016, that’s a year before he started production, he went on Shark Tank to pitch PetPlate. He wanted $100,000 in exchange for 10 percent. Unfortunately for him, he did not get any investors. Alternatively, he teamed up with Gertrude Allen, who is now the CEO of the company, to remain in business.

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In December 2021, PetPlate raised $19 million in a Series B funding round led by Pendulum. Prior to that, it had raised a $9 million Series A in 2020 and a $4 million seed round in 2018, Forbes said. The company now has some 25 employees.

PetPlate generates 95% of its revenue from subscriptions. It costs subscribers $100 per month. Forbes writes that “when a potential customer joins they fill up information about the dog such as breed, allergies, activity levels or body condition, so the algorithm takes into account the data points. It then recommends specific meals to the users as well as portioning instructions to make sure they’re not overfeeding or underfeeding their dog.”

The company is now making moves to establish a brick-and-mortar location. Since it was launched in 2017, PetPlate has delivered 15 million meals to pet owners across the U.S.

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