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Mars and Digitalis Ventures launches $300M fund to back pet health startups in the US and Europe

pet health
Picture credits: rugercm/DepositPhotos

Mars, Incorporated and Digitalis Ventures have announced the launch of Companion Fund II. This $300 million venture capital fund will back founders with companies that are leveraging breakthrough science, technology, and design to improve the lives of pets, pet owners and veterinarians. 

The Companion Fund II will provide VC funding to early-stage animal health companies headquartered in the US and Europe. It will back companies developing veterinary diagnostics, veterinary medicine, information technologies, online platforms, and more. 

The new fund will be independently managed by US-based Digitalis Ventures focusing on both early and growth-stage startups with an ambition to support portfolio companies with differentiated expertise throughout their development while allowing them to maintain their independence, speed, and flexibility. 

Loïc Moutault, Global President Mars Petcare said: “Our goal is to support pet care founders accelerating the trajectory of startups, helping to fuel the growth of pet care businesses and to contribute to the future of the pet care industry. We’re excited to support entrepreneurs and innovators in creating new products and services that deliver on our purpose: ‘A Better World for Pets.'”

“With our second Companion Fund, we are eager to support the next wave of great ideas for advancing animal health at scale,” said Geoffrey W. Smith, Founder and Managing Partner of Digitalis Ventures. “Our partnership with Mars makes these advances possible.” 

Companion Fund I investments

The recent fund follows the launch of the first Companion Fund worth $100 million back in 2018. 

Companion Fund is touted to be one of the world’s leading investment funds for early-stage pet care startups. The fund has invested in innovative companies such as Smalls, MySimplePetLab and Scratch. 

Companion Fund II will support even more startups through their growth phases – confirming Mars’ ongoing commitment to support pet care innovators and its long-term partnership with Digitalis Ventures.

A better world for pets

Mars, Incorporated has a diverse and expanding portfolio of quality snacking, food, and pet care products and services. It produces some of the world’s renowned brands,  including Ben’s Original™, M&M’s®, SNICKERS®, PEDIGREE®, ROYAL CANIN®, and WHISKAS®.

It intends to create a better world for pets via its network of pet hospitals and diagnostic services, including AniCura, BANFIELD™, BLUEPEARL™, Linnaeus and VCA™. These services use technology to develop breakthrough programs in genetic health screening and DNA testing.    

Likewise, New York-based Digitalis VC works to solve critical problems in health. The firm invests in early-stage companies across life sciences, health technology and services, and animal health. 

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