Building a pet products brand legend that leads with design.
Invested £33 Million in 2021
Omlet was founded in 2004 by James Tuthill, Johannes Paul, William Windham and Simon Nicholls, who met at London’s Royal College of Art while completing a postgraduate course in Industrial Design Engineering. During their final year, they developed the Eglu, a revolutionary new chicken coop that makes it easy and fun to keep chickens in any garden.
More than 125,000 Eglus have been sold to date, it has won a number of awards, been exhibited around the world, and is even included in the permanent collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum. They have even housed the feathered friends of broadcaster Chris Evans, Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussein and comedian John Cleese. Omlet’s products for chickens soon expanded and the product offering has evolved to cover additional core pet categories including dogs, cats and small animals. The business is based in Banbury, Oxfordshire and employs more than 60 people.
With sales forecast to reach £40m this year, Omlet is well-placed to capitalise on a number of key global trends that we have been tracking for some years driving growth in the premiumization of the £250bn global pet sector. People are not only owning more pets but are also treating them like humans.
Omlet has an especially impressive culture in the business and strength in the wider team, including a 10-strong design department whose philosophy drives innovation and allows them to successfully release new products loved by customers all around the world (there are lots of pets in Omlet’s HQ to test new prototypes and ideas).
We were equally captivated by the community they have built. They have 150k social media followers and more than 4.2m views of their YouTube channel. Omlet receives almost 10k annual user generated interactions on its website and 60% of customers read its monthly newsletter. The brand also runs an ambassador programme where chicken coop customers provide first-hand feedback to potential customers (even, in some cases, inviting them into their homes), with more than 900 customer ambassadors in 10 countries.
The Covid pandemic has further pushed people to reengage with nature and their families. We were struck that 83% of Omlet customers in our research thought keeping chickens is a good way to teach children about where food comes from and a nice way to connect with the family.
We look forward to working with the team to them become the number one global brand enhancing the experience of owning a pet for owners and pets alike. We will be working together to broaden their offering in cat and dog products and deepen their relationship with their global community (40% of sales are in Europe and 25% in the US) and, by using their bespoke e-commerce platform that allows people to personalise their products and create a customer experience that is as good as the product.
This investment is the eleventh and final investment from our £123m Fund VI and fourth in the pet space across the last two funds, having already invested in Forthglade, Barking Heads and Bruce’s Doggy Daycare.
[23 Nov 2021] - We are delighted to announce that we have invested £33m in Omlet, the fast-growing online design-led pet accessories brand on a mission to become the…