Pandemic Pet Adoption
During the pandemic, approximately one in five households adopted a pet. These furry companions helped many battle loneliness and isolation during quarantines and lockdowns. With that said, the new additions also amplified the need for veterinary care.
During this same time period, another trend emerged. More people opted for telehealth services to address colds and illnesses in effort to avoid walk-in clinics and hospitals. One dynamic brother-sister duo saw the converging signs and took action. In 2020, they founded Petfolk, a tech-enabled veterinary practice, which just recently announced a $40 million Series A round.
After treating cats, dogs, and livestock for two-and-a-half decades, Dr. Audrey Wystrach became used to antiquated veterinary hospitals that still used fax machines. Sometimes waiting times would stretch up to an hour as vets jotted down prescriptions on sticky-notes. In a nutshell, the industry was ripe for disruption.
Wystrach approached her brother, Michael, who previously co-founded and led Freshly, a meal-delivery service. In the midst of the pandemic, the two launched Petfolk with the goal of making pet care easier for owners and better for pets by providing virtual, in-person, and urgent care solutions.
Big Checks for Pet Tech
Funding for pet-related projects saw an influx of funds last year. In 2021, $578.9 million was invested in the space. This funding was directed towards startups focused on pet care, mail-in pet diagnostics services, and pharmaceuticals.
In January, The Vets, a mobile clinic and telehealth platform for pets, raised $40 million. And last year Bond Vet, an urgent care solution for animals, raised $170 million. At the moment, Petfolk has four locations and mobile clinics in North Carolina, Florida, and Georgia. Soon it will offer 24/7 virtual care. It expects to see over 40,000 pets this year representing a 5,000% year-over-year growth.
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