Healthy dog snack start-up brand Denzel’s has received investment from Holly Branson and a handful of strategic investors.
The latest backing will reportedly put the company in position to grow 16-fold by 2022, and the money will be used to expand its product range and team, as well as increase brand visibility through social media, PR and marketing, with a “heavy focus” on sustainability.
Denzel’s first launched in 2018 with initial funding from Virgin StartUp, and grew by 500% within two years of its launch.
As the first Virgin StartUp to receive funding from Holly Branson, as well as a small number of other private investors, Denzel’s said it is now “gearing up to achieve its goal of becoming Europe’s leading sustainable and healthy snack for dogs”.
Denzel’s has created a “new and unique” method of baking in eco-friendly wood chip ovens in the UK, using 100% natural and healthy ingredients sourcing ingredients such as “wonky” fruit and vegetables from their local suppliers.
The business said that sustainability is “as important to Denzel’s as creating tasty, healthy dog snacks”.
Its packaging is made from recyclable cardboard, and the brand has just brought to market a 100% plastic free, compostable pouch that biodegrades in 30 weeks from throwing away in the normal trash.
Branson is “known for working with founders to develop innovative and disruptive products that not only generate financial returns, but also create positive social and environmental change”, and was reportedly “impressed by Denzel’s unique brand and business model”.
Branson said: “Denzel’s is a great brand and has huge potential. They have already proved to be highly successful and I am extremely excited to be part of their future.
“I’m a huge advocate for innovative, socially-conscious, sustainable brands that are run by individuals that place as much importance on their positive impact on society, as they do on profit.”
She added: ”Denzel’s fast growth and ambition to shake up an established £3.2 Billion UK pet food market by encouraging them to be more sustainable and accountable for the quality of their ingredients, is what has attracted me to Denzel’s.”
James Lacy, co-founder of Denzel’s said: “With 26% of UK households being dog owners, coupled with an increasing appetite for healthier and more sustainable living, it makes perfect sense that people will want to give their dogs snacks that are better for them.
“We have a number of products that are easily accessible, and we have seen a phenomenal response and rapid growth as a result. However, to take our brand to the next level, we recognised that we needed investment; not just financially, but with someone that shared our values and would invest in us as young entrepreneurs.”
He added: “Holly was a no brainer; not only does she have all the qualities that we were looking for but, as our first business loan was with Virgin StartUp, there were already strong synergies.”