Pet Circle retains unicorn status after $75m funding boost

Pet Circle retains unicorn status after $75m funding boost

Pet Circle CEO and co-founder Mike Frizell in the company's new Brisbane fulfilment centre opened last year.

Prysm Capital has tipped another $75 million into Australia's largest specialty pet company, helping Sydney-headquartered Pet Circle retain its unicorn status with a valuation of more than $1 billion and a funding runway for ramping up investment into long-term projects.

The San Francisco-based fund led the previous $125 million Series C that made Pet Circle a unicorn in late 2021, prior to the devaluation crunch that affected startups and scale-ups worldwide.

The deal represents yet another boost for Australian pet-oriented businesses, after Sydney-based pet wellness company Lyka raised $25 million in June as a top-up to its $30 million Series B six months prior, with backing from StepStone Group, AfterWork Ventures, Shearwater and Point King Capital.

Founded in 2011, Pet Circle is an integrated pet care platform that includes subscription, VetChat and telehealth services, offering more than 13,500 products - the largest online range in Australia.

The group also has its Pet Circle Insurance offering - a market segment where its largest competitor was under fire from regulators last week with a temporary stop order, since lifted, over the appropriateness of policies to consumer needs and concerns around upfront vet payments.

Prysm Capital's investment - still subject to regulatory approvals - comes off the back of strong 2022 retail sales results of $308.8 million for Pet Circle, accelerating growth plans aimed at securing a larger share of the booming pet supplies industry which is worth around $12 billion annually.

"With a healthy cash balance, and continued growth in our core consumables categories, particularly premium food, the outlook for Pet Circle is one of continued and rapid growth," says Pet Circle co-founder and CEO Mike Frizell.

"This investment boost is yet more confidence from our investors of the opportunity ahead for Pet Circle as we build an exceptional customer experience."

Prysm Capital co-founder and partner Matt Roberts says that under the leadership of Frizell, Pet Circle has emerged as a major player in a category that continues to see strong tailwinds globally.

"Pet Circle continues to be an innovator in the pet industry, with an unwavering commitment to building an exceptional digital-first customer experience," Roberts says.

"We look forward to continuing our partnership in the Company’s next phase of accelerated growth."

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