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Animal Health Angels members make their first investment as a group into Marleybones, the UK’s innovative pantry fresh® dog food brand

Investors in this round: Animal Health Angels

Animal Health Angels are delighted to announce that their members first group investment is in Marleybones, a female founded business, which is a fresh dog food brand known for its unique pantry fresh® solution. This is part of a £900k seed funding led by JamJar Investments, the venture capital firm set up by the founders of innocent drinks, and further supported by Active Partners, the consumer investor behind Soho house, Rapha and KatKin. The fresh funds will be used to grow the Marleybones team, expand its presence in both online and offline channels and broaden its retail footprint after its recent UK launches in Waitrose and Whole Foods Market.

Founded by Josephine Rode Bager and Mikala Skov in 2020, the idea for Marleybones was born out of a personal frustration that Josephine had with feeding her own dog Marley, whose fussiness and indigestion meant frequent changes in dog food. When Josephine started a subscription to fresh frozen food for her dog, she realised there was a gap between quality and convenience, with these diets requiring costly, environmentally unfriendly shipments that take up both your fridge and freezer space plus your time to thaw and prep.

Marleybones pantry fresh® meals offer a unique solution, delivering the nutritional benefits of a fresh, home-cooked diet in a shelf-stable format and in planet-friendly packaging, making it the easiest way to feed fresh without having to use the freezer. The pantry fresh technology is akin to a TetraPak liner in fruit juice cartons and Marleybones use the cartons to gently steam cook their freshly prepared ingredients in pack, avoiding the use of preservatives.

Since its launch, Marleybones has already established itself as a trusted choice among pet parents seeking fresher, tastier, and healthier options for their dogs. It has grown to £1m in annual sales via direct-to-consumer channels and secured a 4.8 out of 5 rating on Trustpilot. It also recently launched in Waitrose and Whole Foods Market with plans to expand into more retailers in the coming months.

Commenting on the funding round, Marleybones co-founder Josephine Bager said: “Marleybones is driven by our founding mission of making dogs healthier and happier. This investment will allow us to continue delivering on that promise and caring for more dogs than ever before. Having seen the benefits on my own dog Marley, and the customers we’re lucky enough to serve, we’re excited about what this investment unlocks for our community”.

Mikala Skov, co-founder of Marleybones, added: “We couldn’t be more thrilled to have partnered with industry leaders in veterinary care and category-defining consumer brands. Their support and investment will help us take the next leap forward in making fresh dog food more accessible and further our mission of improving the lives of dogs.”

Mark Binns, Founder and Director of Animal Health Angels, said: “We are delighted to support Marleybones at this stage in their journey. We were not only impressed by the product – my fussy geriatric Jack Russell loved it – but also impressed with Mikala and Josephine and their vision for the brand. We believe that the addition of a team of leading vets will ensure that the brand delivers on the technical aspects of nutritional excellence in addition to the outstanding palatability and convenience of the pantry fresh® presentation.”

Wendy Furness, Founder and Director of Animal Health Angels, said “At the inception of Animal Health Angels we unanimously agreed to support the Investing in Women Code. As soon as we saw the initial pitch from Mikala and Josephine, we knew there was something special with this business so we are delighted that a female founded business is our first investment as a group. Throughout the ongoing discussions their passion, commitment and entrepreneurial skills were consistently evident and we are delighted to be able to support them as they continue to grow”.

£900k

Animal Health Angels members make their first investment as a group into Marleybones, the UK’s innovative pantry fresh® dog food brand

Animal Health Angels members make their first investment as a group into Marleybones, the UK’s innovative pantry fresh® dog food brand

By Animal Health Angels Animal Health Angels Profile 16 Apr 2024