Why We Invested in Bond Pet Foods

Anna Ottosson
Sep 2, 2020 · 3 min read

A few months ago we, Anna & Erik, published our own personal stories about why we decided to start Trellis Road. The common denominator, and the entire fundament of Trellis Road, is a strong personal motivation to contribute to a better food system in ways that positively affects climate change, environmental issues, human health and animal welfare.

Our recent investment in Bond Pet Foods is a testament to this ambition, showcasing that there are great investment opportunities in startups tackling not only one but multiple of these different challenges.

When we started deep diving into different potential investment areas this spring we highlighted the pet food industry as highly relevant from an impact perspective. Not only is it a significant component of the meat industry, incorporating the problems of animal suffering and killing as well as contributing largely to global greenhouse emissions, but it’s also one where it’s surprisingly difficult to find better alternatives.

As humans we can with relatively low effort decide to, partially or fully, swap out animal food sources from our diets and find plant-based alternatives that meet our health needs. Dogs and cats? A different story.

In the US alone there are well over 100 million cats and dogs consuming animal products as a significant part of their diet. In the words of Bond Pet Foods’ founder and CEO Rich Kelleman:

“If America’s dogs and cats were their own country, their meat consumption alone would rank 5th in the world”.

Rich Kelleman and co-founder & CTO Pernilla Turner Audibert are attacking the problem with biotechnology; using microbial fermentation to produce animal-free chicken protein. As pets are less picky than humans when it comes to the texture and form of their food, Bond can focus on developing the actual protein without the additional challenges and complexity facing startups aiming to produce cultured meat for humans. Along with less rigid regulatory processes this opens up for a potentially shorter time to market.

In addition to Bond’s significant potential impact on climate change and animal welfare the company provides a great case also from a traditional investment perspective.

  • Firstly, they have a stellar founding team in Rich and Pernilla who have managed to get seasoned team members, advisors and investors with highly relevant experience and expertise to join them on their mission.
  • Secondly, they’re going after a giant market; the pet food market in the US alone is $33 billion.
  • And thirdly, timing couldn’t be better with a rapidly growing group of conscious consumers looking for planet and animal friendly options for their furry friends.

We’re incredibly excited to back Bond Pet Foods and support the team on their important mission!

If you’re curious to learn more about Bond, check out these recent articles:

Bond Pet Foods Creates Cultured Chicken Protein Prototype for Pet Nutrition

Bond Completes Prototype to Revolutionise Pet Food

This Biotech Food Startup is Growing Chicken Protein to Make Dog Treats

Trellis Road

Investing in high-impact foodtech and agritech startups.