Farukh Kitchlew | Feb 19, 2024 | 0
Airvet Raises $18.2M to Tackle Veterinarian Shortage
The global pandemic led to a significant surge in pet ownership, creating a growing demand for veterinary services. However, veterinarians are facing challenges in keeping up with this increased demand. According to a 2022 Mars Veterinary Health report, the industry requires over 41,000 additional veterinarians in the next decade to meet growing needs. Unfortunately, not enough people are entering the veterinary field, resulting in an estimated shortage of 15,000 veterinarians by 2030.
In response to the veterinary shortage, pet telehealth company Airvet has stepped up to provide much-needed assistance. The company has raised $18.2 million in Series B funding, adding to the $14 million from its previous Series A round in 2020. Founded in 2018 by CEO Brandon Werber, Airvet aims to connect pet parents with practicing veterinarians through telehealth visits. This service is available anytime and any day for added convenience.
Brandon Werber emphasized the urgency of addressing the vet shortage, warning that proper care for sick pets might become expensive and challenging. With many veterinarians unable to take in new clients, people are left with no option but to seek care from urgent care centers or emergency rooms. This can result in significant financial burdens.
The growing demand in the U.S. pet care industry is projected to reach $277 billion by 2030, up from $118 billion in 2019. This has sparked increased interest from startups and venture capitalists seeking solutions to assist veterinarians. Various companies have emerged with innovative ideas, such as Digitail, Mixlab, The Vets, Dutch, Mascotte Health, and Maven Pet. Unfortunately, not all these ventures have thrived, as demonstrated by the recent shutdown of Fuzzy, a digital pet care network that had raised $80 million in funding since its inception in 2016.
Airvet, however, took a different approach by targeting business-to-business connections. The company has secured a base of employer clients, including prominent names like Adobe, Ceridian, and Rexford Industrial. These companies are keen on offering employer-sponsored pet care benefits to their employees. While Brandon Werber didn’t reveal specific numbers, he mentioned that Airvet is growing rapidly. Moreover, he also highlighted that it has planned to have over 50 clients in the coming year.
Mountain Group Partners led the recent Series B funding of $18.2 million with participation from Canvas Ventures, Headline, Burst Capital, and strategic investors. Notably, this includes VCA Animal Hospitals founder Bob Antin. This funding has boosted Airvet’s total funding to over $33 million. Byron Smith, the managing director at Mountain Group Partners, will join Airvet’s board as part of the investment.
The latest funding will enable Airvet to expand partnerships with enterprises and employers, invest in product development, and strengthen sales and marketing teams. Brandon Werber envisions making pet care services more accessible and affordable for all pet owners. He plans to achieve this by building ubiquitous category companies that employers can use to support and celebrate pet families.
Airvet’s proactive response to the veterinarian shortage is a promising step towards bridging the gap in pet care services. As the demand for pet care continues to soar, technology-driven solutions like Airvet’s telehealth platform may prove crucial in ensuring that our furry friends receive the care they need when they need it, regardless of the challenges a veterinary shortage poses.