CBA backs UK based Animal Health startup Tharos
US based Cross Border Angels & Experts (CBA) which is in the midst of building the world’s largest startup ecosystem with its engaging programs for startups, corporates and investors has forayed into the high potential Animal Health industry by backing Tharos through its Seed-2-Growth program. Tharos is led by a highly pedigreed team of experienced business leaders and supported by professional credible scientific advisors from institutions such as Anglo Scientific, Royal College of Pathology, University of Cambridge and School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Surrey.
Tharos has developed and is now commercializing a form of enzyme rich malt extract, which has been shown to improve the health and performance of animals suffering from common digestive problems. The first product, EquiNectar®, is focused on horses and is intended to restore and maintain the horse’s gut flora to promote a healthy gut and optimise health and performance. EquiNectar contains an enzyme rich malt extract with a mix of over 15 separate digestive enzymes derived from germinating barley which have been shown in clinical practice to be as effective as dietary manipulation.
In addition to horses, the company plans to then address dogs and other companion animals and then move to livestock (chicken and cattle).
Global Market Insights predicts that the global market for animal feed additives will grow to $22bln by 2022 with the global animal feed enzyme market expected to grow from $1.1bln in 2016 to $2bln by 2024. In addition, MarketandMarkets estimates the global market for probiotic in animal feed to growth to $5 bln by 2022.
The British Equestrian Trade Association, APPA and PDSA report that the population of horses is 0.9 million in the UK and 8.9 million in the US and that the population of dogs is 7.6 million in the UK and 89.7 million in the US.
It is clear that a dysfunctional gut microbiome is implicated in much sub-optimal animal health and performance. Tharos’s EquiNectar represents a new, scientifically demonstrated approach to tackling the gut issues for which Probiotics and Prebiotics are often used. EquiNectar works in a completely different way: by optimising digestion in the small bowel, the undigested food residues reaching the lower gut are reduced in a way that deprives unhealthy bacteria of the nutrients they require to survive, thus helping the native microbiome recover and stabilize. This initially produces improvements in clinical symptoms and has been shown to eventually translate into improvement in performance.
One leading UK racing trainer, said it was his “best season ever” since adoption of EquiNectar, noting how consistently well fed his horses were.
Simon Rowlands, a leading horseracing writer and analyst and former Head of Research and Development, at Timeform, described EquiNectar as a “game changer” in horse racing!
Tharos is looking to raise £1.2m in this investment round. £0.4m of which has already been secured.
“The animal health industry is undergoing important changes at the moment, and gut health is at the centre of this. Given the challenges being faced, the effectiveness of solutions for animal health has to be based on increasingly robust science. We believe that EquiNectar is a game changer in the field of animal gut health, as it is a product that has not only shown its effectiveness in rebalancing gut flora in horses, but also the positive consequences that this brings. We are very excited about partnering with CBA as they will help us to reach out to their Global resources to better access markets, partners and investors.”, said Harry Paul, CEO of Tharos.
“CBA scouts for high potential founders from 40 innovation hubs globally that we can support through our various programs curated for their startups. The Animal Health space is ripe for innovation and we had been searching for unique products and business models that can be included in our portfolio. We’re glad that Tharos’ growth objectives are aligned with CBA’s strategic approach and we are excited to join them in their journey to disrupt the Animal Health industry!” said Ashwin Sanzgiri, Vice-President CBA. CBA programs activate various modules which include Growth Capital, Channel Development, Investor Relations, Workforce Acceleration and others based on the needs of the startup and support in building ongoing holistic value while the founders stay focused on building scale. CBA started as a managed angel network focused on cross border co-investments and has evolved into an execution partner through their structured programs for high potential growth businesses/startups across various stages. CBA’s belief that startup failure risks can be mitigated by introducing a benchmark based approach for fundraising and driving channel based sales has allowed them to extend the longevity of their portfolio companies. CBA program member funding rounds & market traction have been covered by international media and some of these publications can also be viewed.