New ventures for a big name in garden and pet

Tin Cofer, CEO

Central Garden & Pet launched Central Ventures, a venture fund dedicated to discovering emerging businesses that are focused on innovating and shaping the future of the garden and pet industries. The fund is a key priority in the company’s new ‘Central to Home’ strategy, which was unveiled during the recent “Investor Day,” the company’s first.

“At Central Garden & Pet, we know we must always be looking ahead and investing in the leaders and ideas of tomorrow to ensure we are positioned to drive the future of our industries,” said Tim Cofer, CEO of Central. “Our new ‘Central to Home’ strategy includes a renewed focus in venture that will bring exciting new products and capabilities into the organization. Additionally, we're looking forward to teaming up with great businesses and leaders and leveraging our capabilities to help them unlock their full potential.”

Central Ventures is built on the foundation that was created over the past five years, which has led to the company’s current venture investments in successful, rising businesses like Casco Pet, Lucy Pet and Back to the Roots. The team will be led by the company’s new President of Corporate Development, Jon Balousek.

“We are excited to bring together an ecosystem of Central’s expertise, retail relationships and external entrepreneurs to drive innovation and growth,” said Balousek. “We believe our deep history of growing through acquisitions, rooted in an entrepreneur-friendly culture is ideal for creating winning partnerships.”

Central Ventures will focus on early-stage North American companies driving change and new thinking in Sustainability, Health & Wellness and Digitally Connected Products and Services. Companies backed by the fund will have access to Central’s leading go-to-market capabilities, resources, and guidance to help take their businesses to the next level. Typical investments will range between $250 thousand and $2.0 million initially, with reserves for follow-on investments.