This release originally featured on Business Leader and can be read here.

A social media platform designed for dog owners has secured £250,000 worth of equity investment from private investors through Leeds-based investment non-profit, NorthInvest.

Dog owner-turned-entrepreneur Becky Baker founded K9 Nation in 2018 to connect the 9.9 million dog owners in the UK in an online social community. The website and app enables dog owners to share crucial information and advice to care for their dogs and provides a curated directory of dog-friendly products and services across the UK.

The social media platform was among six start-ups shortlisted from over 30 candidates to take part at a virtual Pitch Event facilitated by RTC North and NorthInvest as the culmination of investor readiness programme Innovate2Succeed. The programme was delivered by EEN, Innovate UK, the Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN), and NorthInvest, hosted by Clarion solicitors.

Following a successful pitch and intensive investment readiness coaching from RTC North, K9 Nation secured investment from NorthInvest angel investors as well as commercial support from Leeds-based software development agency, Nephos Solutions, to enhance the platform.

NorthInvest Investment Director and angel investor Jordan Dargue also joins the board of K9 Nation as a Non-Executive Director to lead a further fundraise of £250,000 later in the year.

NorthInvest Investment Director and investor in K9 Nation, Jordan Dargue, said: “I’m delighted to join K9 Nation as a Non-Executive Director and help an exciting business develop. As an avid dog lover I appreciate the market opportunity K9 Nation presents, and combined with a strong commercial offering we very much look forward to driving growth with a larger fundraise in the autumn.”

Founder and CEO of K9 Nation, Becky Baker, added: “When I got my dog Buddy as a puppy, I felt overwhelmed by the responsibilities of dog ownership and was in constant need of information and guidance – from dog-walking spots and puppy daycare, to local vets and products. As I spoke with dog owners across the UK, I realised there was a need for a community that provided this information. I’m delighted K9 Nation has found investors and commercial partners who share our mission to build a global community of support.”