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Bond Vet secures $50M from existing investors

Oct 17, 2023
Illustration of a dog wearing a cone made out of money.

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

Bond Vet, an urgent and primary veterinary care provider, secured a $50 million investment led by existing investors Warburg Pincus and Talisman Capital Partners.

Why it matters: Though private equity-led health care dealmaking remains slow, veterinary services are seeing a noticeable pickup.

How it works: Bond Vet's model is analogous to City MD's (formerly backed by Warburg), but for pets.

  • It offers primary care services like wellness checkups and annual exams, as well as urgent care services like wound treatment, gastrointestinal issues and mass removals.
  • Each clinic is profitable "well within the first year of opening," CEO Garrett Lewis tells Axios. He declined to disclose revenue.

What's next: Bond hopes to have more than 60 clinics by this time next year, Lewis says.

  • The company wants to penetrate the Southeast, with markets like Atlanta and the Carolinas on its shortlist, he says.
  • The funding's runway depends on how quickly Bond Vet scales, he says.

The big picture: Veterinary assets, particularly ones with a de-novo growth strategy, are increasingly compelling for private equity, one PE partner in the space tells Axios.

  • "We've seen more traction it seems in some of these de-novo models than what we saw in terms of some of the consolidation plays," he says. "Vet has been able to keep same-store sales [steady] through price, but transactions are down generally."
  • As the COVID-induced vet boom settles, the market may see more challenged vet assets — particularly ones that have grown via consolidation, he notes.

What they're saying: Lewis, who joined as CEO in June after serving as COO of major industry consolidator VCA Animal Hospitals, says Bond won't be pursuing an acquisition strategy.

  • The business had just eight clinics when he first met the company, but the executive says he was struck by the level of client experience Bond Vet was providing with a small footprint.
  • "I think you can really only do [that] consistently and at scale through a de-novo platform, like what Bond Vet has," Lewis says. "Then of course, there's also the financial aspect of the multiples of the acquisitions have become very, very high."

State of play: While auctions for traditional vet platforms stalled out last year, the once white-hot space is beginning to see dealmaking again.

Catch up fast: Talisman has been a Bond Vet investor since 2019, while Warburg injected $170 million into the business in 2021.

  • Lewis says this latest investment was part of the company's roadmap, noting Bond Vet did not go to market to seek new investors.
  • Bond Vet's co-founders, Zay Satchu, Mo Punjani and Lukas Keindl, also participated in this recent round.
  • Bond Vet, which has 42 clinics currently, will use fresh funds to build new clinics in existing Tri-State markets, as well as new cities like Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Boston.

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to note Bond Vet has 42 clinics, not 24.

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