Make no mistake, Fuzzy Expands Reach into Pet Care Market with Capital Infusion – TechCrunch

Pets are big business. Sales in this area topped $ 100 billion in 2020, driven by the 48 million adopted dogs and cats over the past three years. However, during the same period, only 5,000 new vets were added, causing delays in getting appointments and adding stress for vets to manage their practices.

Today, Fuzzy announced $ 44 million in growth funding to expand its digital pet care network of veterinary professionals to alleviate some of the pressure on the industry and make care accessible and accessible. affordable for everyone. The San Francisco-based company previously raised $ 18 million in a Series B round in March.

The company, founded in 2016, offers 24/7 live chat and telehealth services, home-delivered prescriptions, vet-selected items in its e-commerce marketplace, and content and programs. educational. Its digitally native approach can save pet parents up to $ 750 per year on health care expenses, Zubin Bhettay, co-founder and CEO of Fuzzy, told TechCrunch.

“The big story in 2020 was that everyone needed telehealth services for themselves, and we saw that transfer to companion animals and then exacerbated by the industry,” he added. “The increase in the number of people with pets has caused emergency room wait times to increase to 10 hours, when it started to take four to six weeks to get an appointment at The veterinarian.”

By leading the transition to more telehealth services, Fuzzy hopes to encourage pet parents to consider their pets’ health on a more regular basis to help their longevity. The company has facilitated over a million consultations to date and, with it, amassed data and operational expertise to be able to scale delivery care at scale.

Bhettay did not plan to raise additional funds so soon after Series B, but said the accelerated growth of the company has allowed the company to hire more, tick more items off the to-do list at over the past eight months and has provided a unique opportunity to build on partnerships and expand financial plans.

He expects 2021 revenue growth to be five times that of 2020, while Fuzzy memberships, which start for free, then a $ 24.99 monthly subscription or $ 99.99 annual subscription. , have grown through partnerships with retailers and veterinary groups. Bhettay did not disclose the company’s valuation, but said it was more than a three-fold increase from the Series B cycle.

The round was led by Icon Ventures, with input from existing investors Greycroft, Matrix and Crosscut, with additional support from veterinary clinic groups and individuals including former Chewy chairman Mark Vadon and founder of Clearlake Capital. Group Jose E. Feliciano. In addition, 25% of the capital was raised from under-represented communities, Bhettay said.

Blurry live chat through its app. Image credits: Blurry

In addition to expanding the veterinary network – Fuzzy is operational in 25 locations – its plans for the new funding include the development and launch of new product offerings, additional educational content and the growth of new members.

“We want pet care to go from once a year to anytime, anywhere,” Bhettay added. “As we reflect on our vision of becoming the first place everyone comes to, there are features and products we can build into the business to accelerate that path, as well as acquisitions over the next six to 12. month. “

There are a number of startups that are harnessing this major pet trend to capture household spending in health, insurance, and food. Bhettay also sees the biggest incumbents focused here, along with the marketing dollars, which he sees as validation that the market is moving towards the digitalization of pet care.

Tom Mawhinney, general partner at Icon Ventures, has four dogs himself and has felt the pain of having to wait weeks to get them to a vet, including having to take a dog to the emergency vet.

He called Bhettay “an energetic and intelligent entrepreneur” who is building a strong team to tackle a space ripe for disruption.

“The problems are all the more exacerbated as there are more pets added to the system, which have not grown to support it,” added Mawhinney. “There must be new ways of caring for pets, and Fuzzy is putting together a bespoke wellness plan that encourages interactions to become more frequent and improve the overall life of pets. “

Marie R. McCraw