Wild Earth, a biotech pet food company scored a $550,000 investment from Mark Cuban on the popular ABC television show Shark Tank.

Cuban is a successful entrepreneur, with a strong interest in technology and environmental sustainability. He now owns a ten percent share of Wild Earth.

“Mark and his team’s impact has already been huge — since their investment, we’ve successfully launched our first three products and gone nationwide both online and in retail,” says Wild Earth CEO Ryan Bethencourt.

The investment is one of the biggest ever in the history of the show and demonstrates the growing demand for plant-based products.

“There’s an enormous potential market for lower-cost, sustainable protein to feed the growing worldwide pet population and Wild Earth is now the alpha dog in this space,” said Cuban.

All Wild Earth’s products for dogs are made from an ancient Asian fungus called Koji. This “mold” is renewable, eco-friendly, and provides all the nutrition dogs require. The natural snacks don’t contain any ingredients derived from animals and are free of additives, artificial flavors, colors and preservatives, and other chemicals.

Formulated by veterinarians, the production of Koji consumes far fewer resources than those used farming animals. The company creates its own koji through a fermentation process, then adjusts the nutrient content, flavor, and texture to make it appealing to canines.

With the pet food industry growing exponentially every year, companies like Wild Earth are essential to mitigate disastrous effects on the environment. It is estimated that traditional pet foods are responsible for releasing 64 million tons of carbon dioxide every year in the US alone.

As animal lovers, we want to ensure we provide optimal nutrition for our four-legged friends without negatively impacting other creatures. Alternative offerings such as those from Wild Earth are the future of pet food and allow us to make compassionate choices for both us and our pets.