FirstVet, a company offering pet owners on-demand online video consultations from qualified veterinarians, has raised €29.5 million worth of funds in order to support its US launch.
Mubadala Capital, the financial investment arm of Mubadala Investment Company lead the financing round. Cathay Innovation also participated, as well as other existing backers such as OMERS Ventures and Creandum. Since its initial launch in 2016, FirstVet has managed to raise approximately €55 million.
Pet owners in every single state can now receive around the clock expert vet advice and diagnoses for a diverse amount of animals, from cats and dogs to horses and reptiles, by simply using their mobile devices. FirstVet, with its ultra-modern video-based vet consultation service has now launched in the US, where it has already established a team consisting of 14 staff members.
During the COVID-19 pandemic there has been a significant increase in the adoption of telemedicine services and FirstVet, with its dominant position in the Nordic market and strong foundations was well prepared to adapt to this shift in preferences. FirstVet recorded a growth of 150% in July 2020 compared to July 2019.
FirstVet has strong foundations within six important markets, such as Germany, the United Kingdom and the Nordics and has also established partnerships with more than 40 European insurance companies. As of now, FirstVet is available to more than 7 million pets.
David Prien, the CEO and co-founder of FirstVet expressed how proud FirstVet is of collaborating with powerful international investors that share its mission of improving the lives of vets and pets on a global scale. He continued by mentioning the rapid global growth of telemedicine solutions and that FirstVet has the lead in the telemedicine veterinary space. “The partnerships with Cathay Innovation and Mubadala Capital will provide access to further experience and allow FirstVet to reach an even larger number of pet owners,“ Prien said.
The Head of Ventures at Mubadala, Ibrahim Ajami, commented on the success of FirstVet that has built the leading telemedicine platform in the European veterinary industry, its outstanding feedback from insurers, pet owners and vets alike and the year-on-year growth of over 100% which is a win-win situation for all stakeholders. Ajami continued by saying that Mubadala chooses to create partnerships with companies that aim to bring something new to inefficient markets by using technology and in turn they support them with their resources and global scale. The Head of Ventures expressed that Mudabala is looking forward to collaborating with David Prien, Per Victor and the rest of the FirstVet team, as they venture further into international waters.
Jacky Abitbol, Partner at Cathay Innovation, commented that digitalizing healthcare is one of the core investment themes for Cathay Innovation and the pandemic has strengthened their focus and position on this theme. Although the number of pets and the related expenses are increasing globally, telemedicine for pets is still a budding industry. The most favourable pioneer in this field is FirstVet, that has the means to become a leader on a global scale, Abitbol said. He continued by reaffirming Cathay Innovation’s belief in FirstVet’s mission, making pet care more timely and budget-friendly. Cathay Innovation are impressed with FirstVet’s business model that creates value for all stakeholders involved, pet owners, vets and insurance companies alike. “We look forward to leveraging our global platform to support David Prien and Per Victor as they bring their service to more countries worldwide,” said Abitbol.
David Prien also expressed the company’s excitement about the opportunities the launch in the US brings to the table, with a total of 184 million cats and dogs, as well as a rise in the need for qualified care among pet owners. He stated that FirstVet will not stop here and that they are planning further launches in 2021, in France and Canada, strengthening their position in even more global markets. “We will continue to challenge the old truths regarding pet health, and disrupt models that have been inefficient and non-transparent for years,” added David Prien.