Nestle Purina: Purrfecting Open Innovation in Pet Care

The Space

Petcare – a growing and dynamic market worth $200bn, with a rapidly growing number of emerging ventures and brands across diverse range of services, nutrition, therapeutics and analytics. Start-up funding in pet care hit $500 million in 2019, growing 79% year on year with early stage Venture Capitalists the most active, but competitors to Nestle had taken note, and taken action.

The Brief

A mandate to deliver new growth to the Purina business by building new digital and diagnostic capabilities, and differentiated business models across the Find, Feed and Care consumer journey. An uphill battle against an ever increasing competitive landscape and active VC community, with more resources and more attractive offers to the start-up community. Nestle Purina needed to design a new approach for connecting and collaborating with high potential ventures. Venturebright were asked to design the strategy and business case for the creation of the Nestle Purina Open Innovation team and the Nestle Purina Pet Care Accelerator.

What We Did

Working together with a cross-functional team representing R&D, Manufacturing, Brands and Pet communities we created a blue print for the Pet Care division that would enable them to build a funnel of investable opportunities in a de-risked way. 

  • What’s Hype, What’s Real? We uncovered and mapped the entire ecosystem and landscape of emerging industries, brands and investor portfolios from pet nutrition and pet wellness to connected homes and app based solutions to assess where the most attractive opportunities and best strategic fit with the Purina brands, assets and capabilities would be to provide a guide for where to look for investable ventures. 
  • How do we make this work? We designed a flexible and pragmatic approach for a resource constrained organisation. Leveraging our Connect, Collaborate, Commercialise methodology we created a unique and differentiated process and funding model for Nestle Purina that would both accelerate the development pipelines while de-risking the investment approach to align to KPIs and viable proofs of concepts that would build the rationale and case up for JVs or M&A activity down the line. 
  • We want to do it on our own, can we? We developed a repeatable process and approach that the team could implement on its own. We created a guidebook for each stage gate, what to look for when scouting for new ventures, how to assess a ventures’ fit and potential and how to design meaningful pilot projects that would add value to both Nestle Purina and the venture.  

What Happened Next

5 ventures were selected in early January 2020 to form the first cohort to move into the Purina Accelerator program.