Swedish startup FirstVet is expanding its on-demand video consultation platform in the United States after securing a $35 million financing round.
Mubadala Capital led the round with participation from Cathay Innovation, as well as existing backers, OMERS Ventures and Creandum. Since its inception in 2016, FirstVet has raised a total of $65 million in funding, including an approximately $22 million Series B round in 2019, according to Crunchbase data.
Using some of the new round, FirstVet established a U.S. presence with 14 staff members in New York to care for the 184 million cats and dogs there, David Prien, FirstVet co-founder and CEO told Crunchbase News. It offers its video-based vet consultation service in all 50 states, including 24/7 expert advice and diagnoses for a variety of different animals, ranging from cats and dogs to horses and reptiles.
Prien, who has been involved in the veterinary and pet space for the past 12 years, started out by providing a content-driven website for pet stores.
“That worked tremendously well and became popular, though it never converted to e-commerce as we had hoped,” he said. “We created similar content for FirstVet, but we have full-time vets hired to answer the questions that are coming in.”
He sees virtual veterinary visits as a “super nascent field” in Europe to address the 20 percent year-over-year increase in average price of vet visits. It also increased the insurance penetration. People who had insurance for their pets were taking them to the vet all the time, but those who didn’t were reluctant to seek vet care because of the cost, he added.