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Spot & Tango, the D2C pet food brand, has today announced the launch of a new line of pet food called UnKibble. Alongside the announcement of the launch, the company has also closed on a $ 4.2 million seed funding round led by Guild Capital.

Spot & Tango launched 2018 with a line of fresh, wet dog-food recipes. Competing with Farmer’s Dog, Spot & Tango developed customized meals for pups using fresh ingredients fine enough for human consumption, taking into account the dog’s weight, age, breed and activity level. Thus far, the startup has delivered more than 1 million meals to pups and their owners, quadrupling the size of the business in the last six months.

With today’s launch of UnKibble, the company looks to bring a slightly more convenient alternative to market without sacrificing quality.

Unlike most dry pet food, which is made using processed powdered meat and artificial additives, UnKibble uses a unique Fresh Dry process to preserve only whole food ingredients, with no artificial additives or coloring.

This is done by mixing whole ingredients and forming them into bite-sized pieces, which are then gently heated very slowly in a vacuum chamber to maintain freshness. This process removes water content and any potential pathogens and bacteria without extracting nutritional value. The bags are then sealed to remove oxygen and keep the UnKibble fresh.

Spot & Tango subscriptions for UnKibble start at $ 9/week, with three different options: Beef & Barley, Chicken & Brown Rice, and Duck & Salmon. The startup sends a scooper along with the UnKibble that is perfectly portioned to a single serving for your specific dog, ensuring you don’t over- or underfeed the little one.

The company also looks to be as eco-conscious as possible, shipping in bulk to delivery partners using recyclable and compostable materials.

Founder and CEO Russell Breuer explained that Spot & Tango is looking to be a health and wellness platform for pet parents.

“Whether it’s treats or other products or services, ultimately we’re building a brand around health and wellness and making it accessible for all pet parents in as many formats as required,” said Breuer. “Fresh food may not be a ubiquitous product for every single household in America. Dry food may not be, either. Maybe treats are a preference for some families. We want to be able to serve as many needs as possible under the health and wellness umbrella.”

Spot & Tango plans to use the funding to expand its R&D capabilities and build out the team.


Toggle, a Brooklyn-based robotics startup, announced today that it scored $ 3 million in seed funding. The early-stage round was led by Point72 Ventures’ AI Group, with participation from Mark Cuban and VC Twenty Seven Ventures. The series follows a 2018 pre-seed round of $ 570,000 from its Urban-X accelerator, Urban Us, Accelerate NY / Empire State Development and Perl Street Capital.

The 15-person startup creates robotics that fabricate and assemble rebar. It’s designed to work in tandem with existing robotics and steel fabrication technologies, while speeding up the process up to 15 times, by the company’s count.

Toggle has already begun a soft launch “for a wide range of projects in New York City and the surrounding area,” according to the company. It expects to ramp up toward commercial production over the course of the next year and a half. CEO Daniel Blank tells TechCrunch that the seed round will be used toward R&D and growing the Toggle team.

“This funding will be used to further develop our technology — both the hardware and software — around assembly and fabrication automation, as well as grow the engineering team that supports this development,” Blank tells TechCrunch. “The funding also provides us with a strong foundation for our manufacturing operation which is already supplying services and materials to customers in New York City and the surrounding region.”


Manila-based financial tech startup PayMongo has raised $ 2.7 million in seed funding to give merchants in the Philippines and other Southeast Asian markets simple ways to set up online payments. Investors included Founders Fund, Peter Thiel and Stripe, with participation from Y Combinator (PayMongo is the first Philippine fintech company it has funded), Global Founders Capital, Soma Capital, Tinder co-founder Justin Mateen and other angel investors.

PayMongo was launched in June by a founding team that includes CEO Francis Plaza, COO Edwin Lacierda, CTO Jamie Hing and chief growth officer Luis Sia. Since then, more than 1,000 businesses have started using its platform and the startup says its total transaction value processed is growing at an average of 117% week over week. PayMongo’s seed round will be used for hiring, product development, business acquisitions and strategic partnerships.

paymongo founders

PayMongo founders

The startup will focus on the Philippines first, where the country’s central bank has set a target of increasing the rate of cashless payments to 20%. Plaza says PayMongo’s goal is to become the largest payment service provider in the country before expanding to other markets in Southeast Asia.

Prior to launching PayMongo, its team spent several years working on other projects. During that time, they realized payments were the hardest feature to integrate into products and services. Even though the Philippines’ Internet economy is growing quickly (a report from Google expects it to increase from $ 5 billion in 2018 to $ 21 billion by 2025) and more people are using e-commerce, online payments have lagged behind the rest of the world, Plaza says.

“When you want to launch something online for a payment gateway, you have to deal with banks and many different financial institutions. It takes months, we tried it ourselves, from negotiating rates to submitting paperwork. It takes a long time, and then in the end you are charged high fees,” he tells TechCrunch.

Even after businesses finish dealing with banks, they need to figure out payment gateways that are often difficult for people with little tech experience to start using.

PayMongo has already partnered with several financial institutions and its technology, including a payments API that Plaza says can be set up in minutes, is designed to be user friendly. Since many online merchants in the Philippines sell through social media platforms and messaging apps, like Facebook, Instagram, Viber and WhatsApp, PayMongo also provides customizable payment links that they can send to customers.

The credit card penetration rate in the Philippines is only about 6%, Plaza says, so PayMongo also supports e-wallets like GCash and PayMaya and services that allow people to pay for online purchases in cash at convenience stores. PayMongo’s products for micro-entrepreneurs, like freelancers and people who sell items through social media, help it differentiate from competitors like Paynamics, Dragonpay and PesoPay that typically focus on serving larger businesses (though Plaza says PayMongo has also been adopted by large retail chains).

In a statement, Y Combinator partner Kevin Hale said “At YC, we love companies who build services that empower startups. We believe PayMongo will provide the infrastructure that is needed for more Filipinos to become founders who are in charge of their own destiny.”


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