FirstVet, the Swedish startup that provides pet owners with on-demand video consultations with local, qualified veterinarians, has closed €18.5 million in Series B funding.
The round is led by London-based Omers Ventures, the venture capital arm of Canadian pension fund Omers that recently launched a dedicated €300 million fund to invest in European tech startups. FirstVet's Series A backer Creandum also followed on, whilst it brings total funding to date to €24.5 million.
FirstVet says the funding will enable it to expand the service globally, with the company looking to launch in other markets, name-checking the U.S., Germany and France. In addition, the startup will continue to develop its product and introduce new features to improve the experience for pet owners and vets alike. This will include new "automation tools" and integration with clinics’ existing systems.
Founded in 2016 in Stockholm, FirstVet wants to expand access to pet care through facilitating on-demand video consultations with registered veterinarians. The company currently operates in five markets -- the U.K., Norway, Denmark, Finland and, of course, Sweden -- and says it has more than 200,000 registered users. There are currently 150 veterinarians on the platform, with this number growing continually.
“We are a supplement to physical clinics rather than a substitute to them,” FirstVet CEO and co-founder David Prien told TechCrunch in June 2018. “The most common problems we help pet owners with are gastrointestinal questions, wounds, skin/fur/ears. Our main objective is to be the natural first point of contact for pet owners.”
As a route to market, FirstVet has partnerships with more than 20 major insurance companies across all of the markets it operates in, including Bought By Many in the U.K. This sees the FirstVet service offered as part of a pet owner's insurance premium.
“At Omers Ventures, we invest in and partner with the best and brightest entrepreneurs and teams in tech to build a prosperous future, so FirstVet is the perfect fit for us,” says Henry Gladwyn, principal at Omers Ventures and new FirstVet board member, in a statement. “It’s rare for a startup to provide genuine value to the entire ecosystem in which it operates, with FirstVet quickly becoming an irreplaceable service for pet owners, and a trusted partner for vets, clinics, and insurance companies. FirstVet has ambitions to become the global leader in on-demand video veterinary appointments, and we are delighted to be on board to help them achieve this goal."