USA – Wild Earth Inc., a technology startup developing clean protein dog food has closed US$11 million Series A funding round backed by Mars Petcare.

The financing was led by venture capital firm VegInvest, with participation from other current investors including Mark Cuban’s Radical Investments, Felicis Ventures and Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund.

The investment brings Wild Earth’s total funding to US$16 million and seeks to accelerate the company’s growth as well as portfolio expansion.

It will enhance development of its no-meat food for dogs made from an eco-friendly and renewably sourced fungi, a complete protein containing all ten essential amino acids.

The company expects the dry kibble formula to be available in the second half of 2019.

“Given the shocking amount of animal farming required for pet food, and the environmental strain caused by feeding companion animals, Wild Earth represents an important component of a more sustainable and humane food system,” said Amy Trakinski, managing director of VegInvest, who joins Wild Earth’s board of directors.

“We’re investing in Wild Earth not only to impact this market but because Ryan and his team can provide valuable leadership to other companies in the plant-based innovation space.”

Wild Earth is a sustainable pet food company on a mission to get the junk out of pets’ food by making the highest quality clean protein.

Wild Earth’s Good Protein Dog Snacks are made from eco-friendly and renewably sourced Koji (Aspergillus oryzae).

Given that 25-30% of meat’s environmental impact in the US is attributed to pet food, Wild Earth targets to develop alternatives to sustainably nourish more than a billion pets by 2050.

Wild Earth’s fungi-based products are said to provide a complete protein without animal ingredients, with the veterinarian-developed formula offering omega fatty acids, digestion-boosting enzymes, and prebiotics to support gastrointestinal microbiomes.

Wild Earth also announced it has moved into its new headquarters in Southwest Berkeley at Outermost House, significantly expanding its R&D and business facilities.

It has also welcomed global investors in its funding round including Shanghai-based Bits x Bites, Hong Kong’s private equity group, VECTR and Berlin-based food fund P.O.V.