business

FirstVet Fundraise Could Bring On-Demand Video Pet Care to U.S.

FirstVet, the Swedish startup that helps pet owners connect with veterinarians for on-demand video consultations, could soon be available to pet moms and dads in the U.S. thanks to a recent $20.4 million round of fundraising.
The company already has more than 200,000 registered users in the United Kingdom, Norway, Denmark, Finland, and Sweden. After OMERS Ventures led the company's Series B funding, CEO and co-founder David Prien told Cheddar Monday that the latest infusion of cash will be put toward international expansion.
Prien, a pet-owner himself, says the company aims to help both users and care providers by providing flexible hours for pet care but that it is not trying to replace traditional vet offices.
"I want to emphasize that we're not trying to directly compete with veterinary practices, but rather create a complementary practice on top of the way that veterinary practices generally work," Prien said.
Veterinarians in practices spend a lot of free time consulting with pet owners on the phone, Prien said. He said the company's stickiness and retention has proven to be good, with what he reported as a 99.7 percent customer satisfaction.
FirstVet veterinarians have helped 150,000 pets since the company's founding in 2016 with rates, on average, 60-70 percent cheaper than a veterinarian's office, the company said.
But first and foremost, the focus is on the animals. "I probably care about my pets way more than I care about myself," said Prien.
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