Startup of the Week: Rocketo
Before the most important period – Holidays it’s necessary to pay attention on relatives’ and pets’ health too. That’s why we want to introduce you Rocketo – startup which main aim is to offer entirely free of toxin, healthy bespoke dog food. Arūnas Matačius, CEO of Rocketo reveals all facts about product, challenges and new perspectives.
So what is Rocketo? How does it work?
ROCKETO is a healthy bespoke dog food that closely mimics how a dog might eat in the wild. It is entirely free of toxin, certified EU organic, raw gently air-dried and made by using ingredients only in their natural form – as supplied by Mother Nature since the dawn of time.
ROCKETO operates in whole Europe as subscription service. We ask dog owner to tell a bit about his dog. Then our algorithm makes a perfect feeding plan. Food arrives ready-to-serve on a regular schedule every month. No need for a fridge or freezer. By following the latest scientific research on dog’s well-being we calibrate recipes so that digestible carbohydrates would be eliminated to minimum, in order dog could fight severe health problems or would get into highest performance state.
What are your competitors and competitive advantages?
Our main competitors are located in UK. They are the companies that are also doing bespoke dog food delivery. However, our advantage is that we are more healthier and more convenient. As our food is dehydrated, our customers do not need fridge or freezer; home does not smell with rotten meat; our food takes much less space, and it is much easier to perfect portioning with our included scoop.
Moreover, in future we are planning to concentrate more on pet’s health and include services, which would help to monitor how a pet is improving.
What were the reasons behind coming up with this idea and launching this product?
2 years ago one of my dogs got sick. And after treating him with prescribed medications he eventually stopped walking. He was 10 years old at that time. Vets suggested to put him down. I remember tears in my eyes. But some inner force gave my strength and I decided not to give up.
As educated in science, I am used to check facts first and then make some presumptions. So I checked. I found, that most of the diseases can be stopped, controlled or even reversed by applying dietary change. So I did. I started making home made food at home. Not simple home made. But raw, from organic ingredients, low in digestible carbohydrates. My pup started walking in week two. I wanted to get this type of food in stores, as making every day is very time consuming. And smelly. And messy. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find. Well, at least in Europe. So I decided to manufacture on my own, the very first organic, raw dehydrated and low in digestible carbohydrates dog food.
When exactly did you launch, what were the main challenges before launching?
The idea was introduced on Dec 2017. It took a half a year to calibrate production. Company was established in Jul 2018. We opened sales on Oct 2018.
Challenges are every day. It is ongoing process, as we want to give the best product with the best service for pets to be healthier.
Our main targets are in Scandinavia, Benelux and UK at the moment. In all these regions we have our country managers who help as activate brand and sales. Our customers are conscious pet owners, who are looking for convenient and healthy solution when it comes to pet nutrition.
What are main challenges while working on this product and how are you overcoming them?
Challenges are the same as in every start-up: how to find right partners, how to hire perfect team, how to build a tribe of followers, how to sell and etc. Every start-up is a bit different, so to every situation we try to look differently. As we are trying to build something new, then our approaches all the time have to be new.
How are you funded? Do you seek extra funding?
First it was my personal savings. Then we got financial investor for pre-seed. We are always open for new opportunities.
Please introduce your founders, your core team and your broader team?
ARUNAS MATACIUS (FOUNDER & CEO). Mathematician on paper, a dog lover in heart, former MTV producer, organic chocolate factory co-owner and serial entrepreneur in real life. He knows how to create, market and sell products from a scratch. Holds 20+ international awards for product innovations and designs.
Dr. med. vet. TIMURHAN TASTURAN (CHIEF OF SCIENCE). Dr. Timurhan Tastutar is a veterinarian cardiologist, inventor and biology nerd in general, specialised in Sport Horses, trying to fix the unfixable, through the most basic biological rules combined with the latest tech available. He has a close relationship with dogs, horses and children. Lives in NRW Germany. Currently busy with nano therapy inventions, lectures about feeding and sports physiology for animal athletes.
CATHERINE EDWARDS (CHIEF OF CONSULTING & TRAINING). Catherine Edwards is the founder of The Catherine Edwards Academy which hosts both online courses and in-person workshops. She also works as a private Therapist offering a range of services for animals and humans, both in person and remotely anywhere in the world, seeking to improve their overall health and vitality.
How has business been so far? Could you share some numbers to illustrate this (users, sales, etc)?
We just started sales 2 months ago. It is too early to estimate sales now, as we were trying to figure out pricing and sales structure. However, we already sold our first 200 subscriptions to 10 plus countries in Europe, and already signed country managers in Sweden, Benelux and UK, where we will start active sales from Q1 2019.
Future plans, ambitions? Simply speaking – what’s next?
#1 healthy pet brand in Europe.
Thank you for your answers!