News Fast Growing Brand Attracts More Funding



Fast-growing brand attracts more funding
19th September 2018

By Karen Pickwick

Mark Hirschel (left) and Jo Amit

Natural pet care brand Hownd has secured a £50,000 funding package from NatWest to progress its growth plans.

Company founders Mark Hirschel and Jo Amit have used the finance to support new product development. The company will launch its first pet accessory, the Hero Bowl, an antimicrobial food and water bowl, at the end of the year.

Hownd provides a range of UK-made, natural and vegan pet hygiene products, which are certified by Cruelty Free International and accredited by the Ethical Company Organisation. The company has also just launched its new Hemp Wellness Treats, a range of baked biscuits that are 100% vegetarian and made in Devon.


The business was founded in 2015 after Mark and Jo recognised a growing demand for ethical pet products. The pair joined NatWest’s Entrepreneur Accelerator Programme, formerly known as Entrepreneurial Spark, in 2017.

Hertfordshire-based Hownd has grown organically by more than 20% year-on-year and is now ready to scale up. The company is looking to raise a further £300,000 of investment through a mix of angel investors and crowdfunding later this year, with the funds being used to drive consumer awareness, new product innovation, enhanced retailer merchandising, and the creation of up to five new jobs in the next 12 months. Hownd is also the company behind Bring Your Dog To Work Day, an annual event that helps raise funds for animal rescue and re-homing charities.


Co-owner Mark said: “The Hownd brand has grown considerably in the last three years. As the market for natural pet products expands, there is significant potential for future growth. Being a part of NatWest’s accelerator programme has been a key factor in our current success. It gave us access to comprehensive coaching and invaluable financial support. Over the next 12 months, we have ambitions to diversify our product range. This will enable us to continue to provide the most innovative, natural and ethically sourced pet products on the market.” 

Sharad Varma, business growth enabler, NatWest, said: “NatWest’s accelerator programme supports passionate entrepreneurs like Mark and Jo. It provides access to mentors, investors and advisors, as well as financial support. Hownd has proven it has what it takes to succeed, with a product and brand which is truly unique.”