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Good Dog Food, a start-up developing pet food made from cells, has raised seed funding of £3.6m ($4.5m).

The company, set up a year ago, has attracted fresh backing from Agronomics, the UK-listed investment firm ploughing funds into cell-based companies and other alternative-protein businesses.

Agronomics, already an investor in Good Dog Food, contributed £1m to the company’s Good Dog Food’s seed round, giving the investor just over 42% of the business.

Last year, it invested £150,000 in the company.

Other backers in the seed round included private-equity firm Siddhi Capital, which has invested in fledgling food companies including US cell-based meat developer New Age Meats and Magic Spoon, a US breakfast cereal maker.

“As a dog owner, I have been looking for high-quality alternatives to traditional meat to provide to my dogs. Good Dog Food will do exactly that. It is even more exciting to know that Good Dog Food may accelerate the introduction of cultivated meat to the broader public,” Agronomics executive director Jim Mellon said.

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By GlobalData

Mellon is the founder of the former mining business Regent Pacific Group, now known as Endurance and focused on biopharma.

He put £300,000 into Good Dog Food’s seed round, acquiring just short of 3% of the business.

Owen Ensor, Good Dog Food’s CEO, said Agronomics’ “industry-leading expertise and advice have been fundamental to the ongoing success of Good Dog Food”.

He added: “With their support, we aim to bring some of the first-ever cultivated meat products to market and, ultimately, help transform our food system into one that is both sustainable and ethical. Developing products for pet food is the natural starting point.”

Good Dog Food says the differences in regulation mean it will be quicker to launch cell-based pet products than human food.

Agronomics’ portfolio includes investments in Israel-based cell-chicken developer SuperMeat and in All G Foods, an Australian supplier of alternative dairy and meat products.