LOONAWELL: International success with premium pet-food

Zurich-based LOONAWELL offers premium organic pet food. Following its launch in 2020, and becoming the first pet-food brand to receive the Swiss Vitamin Institute label, the startup has maintained its growth trajectory worldwide with customers in over 16 countries.

Aiming to revolutionise the Pet Food market, Maria de Bettencourt Tavares leverages her experience from biomedical sciences and the food industry to develop LOONAWELL, a premium Swiss brand that manufactures and commercialises organic and human-grade dog treats. Developed in collaboration with a culinary Chef, their products are tailored to the dog’s nutritional needs, and they would also qualify for human food, too!    

“The quality of most Pet Foods and treats in the market is poor”, states de Bettencourt Tavares. “After collecting scientific and business knowledge and building a network in different countries, I felt that I had the necessary tools to create a change in the Pet Food category. As a dog owner, I wanted to build a solution that would benefit my dog and many others out there”. 

Since launching its online shop, the food tech startup has grown its assortments to six products, including both meat and plant-based treats. Besides selling directly to customers via its E-commerce channel (www.loonawell.com), the startup also works with select retail stores in Switzerland and the UK and reaches customers in over 16 countries. The company has generated sales since going live, with a customer return rate reaching up to 60 percent, as revealed by Maria de Bettencourt Tavares, Founder and CEO of LOONAWELL.

Last year, Loonawell recorded a series of achievements, including becoming the first Pet food Brand in the world to be certified with the Swiss Vitamin Institute label, adding to its EU-Bio certification. Furthermore, a collaboration with CERVO Hotel in Zermatt allows dog owners residing at the hotel to obtain premium treats for their pets during their stay. The company also closed a seed round of CHF 250’000 through friends and family convertible loans. The next financing round, for which LOONAWELL is looking for additional investors, is underway. The startup will use the raised capital to enable the startup to form a team by adding a growth hacker and a social media manager. The startup also plans to increase product assortment and expand its geographical reach.

Google for Startups Growth Academy: Women FoundersThe startup has now joined the Google for Startups Growth Academy: Women Founders, as the only Swiss startup among the 7 selected companies from the DACH region. Through the 8-week program, the cohort will benefit from strategy workshops and Google mentorship to boost their growth.(RAN)