Fife-based raw pet food company scales up with £7 million investment

A Scottish raw pet food company has raised £7 million from a consortium of investors as the business looks to scale up.

BGF, formerly the Business Growth Fund, has injected £5m into Bella & Duke, with the balance of the funding provided by existing shareholders, including a further investment from Mobeus.

Bella & Duke was founded in 2016 by Mark Scott and Tony Ottley – two friends who agreed that existing mainstream pet food products did not give dogs and cats the best chance of enjoying long, healthy lives.

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The firm has grown rapidly to post revenues north of £11m in its last financial year and now delivers more than two million meals per month across Britain.

Bella & Duke’s raw, natural pet food is said to provide notable health benefits to pets, with over 92 per cent of customers reporting an improvement in their dog within eight weeks.

The latest funding boost will accelerate marketing activity, increase factory capacity and create further job opportunities at the company’s headquarters in Fife. Total employee numbers have recently risen to almost 100, with further “significant increases” planned over the next few years.

Alongside the cash injection, Peter Farquhar will join the firm as its chairman. He is the former chairman of natural pet food brand Forthglade.

Scott, co-founder and chief executive of Bella & Duke, said: “Attracting this investment demonstrates the long-term potential for Bella & Duke and showcases the significant opportunity within the raw feeding category generally.

“The business has grown significantly in recent years due to the increasing consumer demand for natural, nutritionally beneficial pet food as well as the success of our subscription-based business model, that delivers frozen food from our factory in Fife directly to customers’ homes throughout Great Britain.”

Graham Clarke, investor at BGF, said: “Providing consumers with high-quality raw pet food in a subscription-based model is proving a winning formula – and so we are delighted to be supporting Mark, Tony and the Bella & Duke team in their next phase of growth.”

Matt Mead of Mobeus added: “We’ve worked with the business for over a year now and have been impressed by the brand’s commitment to transforming the pet wellness sector. We’re excited to continue working closely with them to grow the business even further.”

In a 2020 survey of 3,157 Bella & Duke customers, 92 per cent saw improvements in their dog within eight weeks.

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