Home Business NewsBusinessBusiness Growth Piper consolidates success in the pet market with £33m investment in pet accessories brand Omlet

Piper consolidates success in the pet market with £33m investment in pet accessories brand Omlet

by LLB Finance Reporter
22nd Nov 21 9:03 am

Piper has invested £33m for a significant minority stake in Omlet, the fast growing design-led pet accessories brand sold exclusively online. Omlet is on a mission to become the number one global direct to consumer premium pet product brand, enhancing the experience of owning a pet for owners and pets alike.

The business was founded in 2004 by James Tuthill, Johannes Paul, William Windham and Simon Nicholls, who met at London’s Royal College of Art where they completed a postgraduate course in Industrial Design Engineering. During their final year, they developed the Eglu, a revolutionary new chicken coop, which made it easy and fun to keep chickens in any garden.

The Eglu went on to win a number of awards, has been exhibited around the world and is even included in the permanent collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum. More than 125,000 Eglus have been sold to date and they have housed the feathered friends of broadcaster Chris Evans, Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussein and actor 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 consumer trends that have been driving growth in the £250bn global pet sector – increased interest in pet ownership (driven by significant changes to wellbeing and lifestyle trends), the resulting continued humanisation of pets and the premiumisation of the pet category. These long-term global trends have helped fuel Omlet’s growth and enable the business to use its bespoke e-commerce platform to reach a worldwide audience – one third of sales are from the UK, nearly 40% from Europe and one quarter from the US.

It is the eleventh investment from Piper VI and its fourth in the pet space, having previously invested in Forthglade, Barking Heads and Bruce’s. It further reinforces Piper’s expertise in digitally-led consumer brands, sitting alongside some of its other past and present fast-growing portfolio companies such as Bloom & Wild, Mindful Chef, Mous and Monica Vinader.

James Tuthill, co-founder of Omlet, said: ‘We are incredibly proud of everything we have achieved so far with Omlet. Simon, Will, Hanns and I have loved every minute of this journey and we feel Piper is the perfect partner to work alongside us as we realise our combined ambition to grow Omlet into the number one global premium pet product brand.’

Rory Gibbs, Piper’s Investment Director, said: ‘We are delighted that the team at Omlet selected Piper as their preferred partners and are excited by the growth opportunities the business has identified, in a sector we understand well. Their unique and thoughtful product designs are much loved by customers around the world.  We look forward to supporting the team and are looking forward to working again with Don Henshall, former CEO of Farrow & Ball, who will be joining the business as Chairman.’

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