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Vet startup Petfolk clinches $40M in Series A funding

Aug 24, 2022

Illustration: Victoria Ellis/Axios

Petfolk, looking to offer a new breed of veterinary care, raised $40 million in a Series A round led by White Star Capital and Freshly founder Michael Wystrach.

Why it matters: With more startups banking on pet parents' demand for convenience, VCs are increasingly looking for their piece in an industry historically dominated by large consolidators and private equity investors — whom have achieved big success in the sector.

Zoom in: Charlotte, North Carolina-based Petfolk, formerly known as One Vet, boasts a tech-enabled approach that it says simplifies access to health records and care teams, while enabling personalized care plans.

  • It operates pet care centers and mobile clinics in North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida, and will soon be launching a 24/7 virtual care service.
  • Petfolk prioritizes consumer (and pet) experience, promising a "stress-free" environment with a "calming fragrance" to keep animals relaxed.

Yes, and: Like many human health specialities, animal health continues to face a major labor shortage.

  • Petfolk says it offers flexible hours to its veterinarians to prevent burnout.
  • It has also eliminated non-competes.

Details: Petfolk's lead investors are joined by Triple Point Capital, alongside celebrities Miranda Lambert, Dierks Bentley, Midland’s Mark Wystrach and Cameron Duddy, Jimmie Johnson, Erik Jones, and Danica Patrick.

  • Consumer industry leaders also participated, including Outdoor Voices founder Ty Haney, FIGS Scrubs founders Trina Spear and Heather Hasson, and several others.
  • Petfolk was co-founded in 2020 by brother and sister Audrey and Michael Wystrach, the latter who sold his previous company Freshly for $1.5 billion, to Nestlé.

State of play: Early stage investors have increasingly poured capital into emerging vet tech models that focus on consumerization, affordability, or virtual access.

  • The Vets, an at-home vet tech company, scored $40 million in January in a funding round led by Target Global.
  • Warburg Pincus in October injected $170 million into Bond Vet, a tech-powered urgent care startup not unlike a CityMD for pets.
  • Modern Animal, a Los Angeles startup banking on pet parents' demand for convenience and affordability, raised $75.5 million in July 2021
  • Small Door Veterinary, a New York-based membership model, raised $20 million in Series A funding led by Toba Capital in June 2021.

Reality check: The burgeoning vet industry is still dominated by private equity.

  • Those with real scale are the big, established consolidators, like TSG Consumer Partners' Pathway Vet Alliance, JAB Investors' NVA, and many others.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to note the correct spelling of Heather Hasson.

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