Not a wolf.

Incubating a Modern Dog Wellness Brand — Jinx

Your dog isn’t a wolf. Direct-to-dog food is here.

Alexis Ohanian
Feb 12 · 3 min read

I’m a step-dad to two dogs. I’m also part of a generation of millennials who treated their dogs as “starter children.” Our pets matter. A lot. And the trends are clear that digital natives are doing their research and want the best for their furry kids, so we invested in Jinx to reimagine a wellness brand that is designed for the modern dog, in the Internet age.

We were introduced to three former Casper executives Terri Rockovich, Michael Kim and Sameer Mehta, who had expertise in brand-building and performance marketing and combined that with a dogged love of canines and a vision to create a wellness company that met their high standards as pet owners.

They’re dog-obsessed pet parents that were disappointed by the very few relatable CPG brands given the surplus of choices in the category. It was a crowded market, with uninspired competition, and they are a first-rate team capable of building a truly digital-first brand. The last time I had a meeting like this, it was to be in the first round of Ro. This was another no-brainer.

Terri, Michael and Sameer had the opportunity to build a pet food business from scratch, and once they literally saw how the sausage gets made, they grabbed the opportunity to build a better nutritional option for their dog’s updated lifestyles. (Terri is the type of dog owner who reads all of the ingredients.)

We know modern dogs are different. Over the years, they have become more like family members and less like their ancestral wolves. They are sleeping more, joining us on our vacations, and living their best lives on regular walks and in doggie daycare.

The Jinx team has designed a diet for the modern dog because our dogs have evolved, and so have their dietary needs. The recipes use functional ingredients that process easily and are highly palatable, like salmon and brown rice or chicken and mango. The business model is direct-to-dog — actually, direct-to-consumer — and will let them optimize the experience around ordering, receiving, and feeding. They’ll use technology to augment the interaction between their brand and consumers and focus on creating better meal-times (and snack-times) for our dogs.

Jinx soft-launched at the end of 2019 and the website is live for you to dig in and research your dog’s new favorite food.

You’re going to hear a lot more about Jinx in the months and years to come. Make sure to follow them on Instagram through @thinkjinx. I couldn’t be more excited to initialize a new company that levels up what we’re feeding all of our loved ones. We know that our generation cares about what we put into our bodies, so we believe that dog moms and dads care just as much about what their pups eat too.

🐶

Initialized Capital

Stories and thoughts on early-stage entrepreneurship from a venture capital firm. We fund and help startups with their first check. https://initialized.com/our-startups

    Alexis Ohanian

    Written by

    🚀 Co-founder & managing partner, Initialized (early stage VC, $36B in market value so far); bestselling author; co-founder, Reddit.

    Initialized Capital

    Stories and thoughts on early-stage entrepreneurship from a venture capital firm. We fund and help startups with their first check. https://initialized.com/our-startups

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