Axios Pro Exclusive Content

Yummers raises $6.3M seed from L Catterton

Founders Antoni Porowski, Rebecca Rudisch and Jonathan Van Ness hold bags of Yummers' pet food supplements.

Founders Antoni Porowski, Rebecca Rudisch and Jonathan Van Ness, from L to R. Photo: Yummers

Yummers, a maker of pet food mix-ins whose founders include Queer Eye cast members Antoni Porowski and Jonathan Van Ness, raised a $6.3 million seed round from L Catterton, CEO Rebecca Rudisch tells Axios exclusively.

Why it matters: It's rare that L Catterton — a partnership between PE firm Catterton, luxury giant LVMH and family office Groupe Arnault — makes early stage bets.

  • "This is kind of a new territory for them to invest this early," says Rudisch, also a co-founder and formerly Petco's chief merchandising and marketing officer.

Details: Caravan (which provided pre-seed funding), FS Investors, C&S Family Capital, Platinum Mile Ventures and Louis Kreisberg also participated in the growth equity financing, Rudisch says.

  • Proceeds will be invested in Yummers' omnichannel strategy, which includes D2C and a national retail partnership with Petco, as well as inventory, R&D and some marketing.
  • L Catterton in particular was an ideal investor because they bring expertise and a network of people, with a history of successful exits in the pet sector, she says.
  • Actor Porowski and comedian Van Ness are involved in product development and marketing in addition to representing the brand, Radisch says.

Between the lines: "Humanization of pets, it's not slowing down. People have not stopped yet 'premium-izing' their purchases in pet and they have not stopped yet humanizing their pet," Rudisch says.

  • "COVID was even more of an accelerate to that, because the pet was not only their four-legged best friend, but was probably their only best friend they interacted with all day long," she adds.

How it works: Yummers was inspired by the desire from pet owners to "mix and match and make every meal time special and fun and exciting," Rudisch says.

  • Its gourmet line provides flavor and its functional line contains supplements.
  • The toppers or mix-ins come in three forms including freeze-dried nuggets, a freeze-dried powder and a jerky-like chewy nugget.

Yes, but: Has it passed the human taste test as well as the pet taste test? "Maybe," Rudisch says.

  • "Palatability is something we're fanatically committed to," given the brand's name, she says.

The big picture: While Yummers only offers pet food mix-ins now, it aspires to be a pet lifestyle brand offering a range of products for pets.

  • "The vision is to definitely be more than a topper brand, more than just a food brand, but to really meet the needs of aspirational pet parents," Rudisch says.
  • Most existing pet products are functional, she says — but they don't tap into the emotional connection between owners and their pets, she adds.
Go deeper