Michael Waxman, co-founder and CEO of dog food startup Sundays, acknowledged that dog owners have no shortage of options when it comes to feeding their beloved pets — but he still thinks there’s room for something new.
“There’s a sort of ‘Water everywhere, but not a drop to drink’ phenomenon,” Waxman said. “There are over 3,000 dog foods, and yet I think there isn’t really one that is the no-brainer, compelling answer.”
Sundays “soft launched” its first product in February and now has around 1,000 paying customers. It’s launching more broadly today and is also announcing that it has raised $2.27 million in funding from Red Sea Ventures, Box Group, Great Oaks Ventures, Shrug Capital, Matt Salzberg, Zach Klein and others.
Waxman’s past startups include dating app Grouper, while his wife/co-founder Tory Waxman is a veterinarian (and serves as the startup’s chief veterinary officer). He told me that the two of them became interested in pet food a couple years ago when one of their dogs started to have stomach issues, and they “went down this rabbit hole of trying to find the best dog food.”
The market can be divided two broad categories, Waxman said. There’s kibble, which is relatively cheap and affordable but not as healthy. Then there’s refrigerated food, including direct-to-consumer options like The Farmer’s Dog, which are healthier but also pricier and require more preparation. (Update: Just to be clear, The Farmer’s Dog is not a DIY or meal kit product. The company delivers fresh, ready-to-serve dog food — but it does need to be refrigerated.)
“Those are so unbelievably inconvenient,” Waxman argued. “You’re not going to find too many people crazier about their dogs than we are, and we would do literally anything for our dogs — except prepare their food for an hour a day.”