If you call yourself a “dog person,” it’s about time you start calling yourself a “Kabo person.” Kabo is a venture with London, Ontario roots that has become a big contributor—and influencer—in the world of dedicated dog parenting. As such, dog parents have been taking social media by storm since Kabo’s inception, which means they are putting more thought into the details of their dog’s life and sharing them on social media for all of us to enjoy!
Founded by brothers Vino and Vijay Jayapalan, Kabo was started with the mission of making the daily ritual of feeding your dog(s) a healthier and more enjoyable experience. Finding diets that parallel the same health-conscious benefits that some strive for in human meals, Kabo offers freshly cooked, human-grade, high-quality custom diets for dogs. This personalized food subscription service provides less processed, more natural and highly digestible dry and freshly cooked food options for each individual dog, allowing consumers (technically the owners, not the dog) to adjust their dog’s diet to their lifestyle and health goals through a growing membership-based and marketplace platform.
Manufactured in Ontario for the company’s Canada-wide customer base, Kabo foods are made in small batches and kept fresh throughout the fulfillment process within facilities across the country that are owned and operated by the company to ensure consistent high-quality standards. As a fresh-food business, Kabo struggled to find a perfect fit in the fulfillment models that existed through third-party facilities in the eCommerce space and set out to build its own fulfillment operations now propelling the company’s day-to-day business practices in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario.
Through this process, Kobo has recently launched packfresh.ca, a subsidiary brand under Kabo Labs that acts as a third-party logistics and fulfillment opportunity for ventures with similar business models. “As entrepreneurs, we knew we wanted to build solutions that could help other ventures where we could,” says Vino. “We built the technology and processes to offer high-quality service and fulfillment for ourselves, and we wanted to help other brands be able to expand across Canada the way we did without having to take those larger risks of creating these facilities on their own.” Contributing to the local economy through job growth and to the larger-scale Canadian startup economy through camaraderie and a true understanding of the adversities of building a venture, Kabo’s founders saw this opportunity for growth as a way to expand their business model and simultaneously continue being invested contributors in the startup industry.
Kabo is a recent i.d.e.a Fund recipient. Supported by a $10-million Government of Canada investment through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), the i.d.e.a. Fund is led by Innovation Guelph in partnership with five Regional Innovation Centres (RICs): WEtech Alliance, Haltech, Innovate Niagara, Innovation Factory and TechAlliance of Southwestern Ontario. The program helps high-potential ventures access the tools they need to succeed by providing financial and business advisory supports to develop or redesign products, services, processes, and technologies that reduce impacts on the environment and create made-in-Canada solutions.
Having built their business on a core value of sustainability, the Kabo founders utilized the i.d.e.a Fund to focus on research and development for innovative products that impact their environmentally friendly efforts. Understanding that greenhouse gas emissions from the meat production industry have a significant impact on climate change and that pet food production relies heavily on this and similar industries, Kabo took this opportunity to understand alternatives to supplement meat nutrients within its fresh-food offerings. Prototyping an entirely vegetarian-based diet for dogs, Kabo is on track to introduce its first-ever meatless alternative that will withstand its top-tier standards for the dietary needs and health of your dog.
“Creating a product that solves so many pain points for dogs, their owners and the environment, demonstrates that the Co-Founders are active and motivated entrepreneurs,” shares Christina Fox, Chief Executive Officer at TechAlliance. “The Kabo brothers have always been active in London’s startup space, and this impressive growth follows years of dedicated work that they have put into building Kabo while continuing to stay connected with our ecosystem and lifting other entrepreneurs.”
Still in research phases and now working to understand marketing, messaging and consumer perception, the Kabo team is on cloud nine as their continued growth and development leads them to new ideas for doggos and venture expansions.
Head to kabo.co to learn more.
To learn more about The i.d.e.a Fund, go to techalliance.ca/idea-fund
To learn more about FedDev Ontario, go to https://ised-isde.canada.ca/site/feddev-ontario/en