Modern Animal Fetches $13.5M For Pet Telemedicine Service

Modern Animal is looking to take on the 28,000 veterinary clinics in the United States with its own tech-enabled, pet friendly health services.

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And the company just raised a $13.5 million seed round, led by Founders Fund and Upfront Ventures, to try to do so.

Modern Animal charges $100 per year annual membership so pet owners can have access to a full set of services in clinics. Additionally, users can have 24/7 access to virtual care through the app, however “any services rendered above and beyond a routine and standard appointment are an incremental fee,” according to Steven Eidelman, founder and CEO Of Modern Animal.

Competition Wags Some Tails

Eidelman called this model the “next generation of veterinary care” but if you look a little north, there’s a competitor swinging at this big market, too: Fuzzy.

In 2016, San Francisco-based Fuzzy Pet Health was created to bring veterinary telemedicine to worried pet owners. While it was started years ago, Fuzzy has raised less than Modern Animal, at $12.5 million to date.

However, what Fuzzy doesn’t have in the bank it does have in proof. When I last talked to the co-founder and CEO, Zubin Bhettay, he said there have been 60,000 to 70,000 consultations on the app.

In regards to Modern Animal’s new funding, Bhettay said “We love that there are new and innovative approaches that more folks are coming forward with about how to address [veterinary challenges],” via e-mail.

“Pet health advice [today] is either your pet is fine, or your pet is going to spontaneously implode in five minutes,” Bhettay told me back in June. Fuzzy also recently scooped up San Jose’s Fetch Labs, which helps manage animals through a digital network with other pet owners. Think a pet owner network.

When asked about Fuzzy, Modern Animal declined to comment. Eidelman said that “we are primarily competing with your traditional veterinary clinic around the corner.” Both services are focused on prioritizing the wellness of practitioners and families.

So yes, Modern Animal’s seed round, even for today’s standards, is giant. However despite a flashy boost of capital, the startup has its work cut out for itself. Not only must it differentiate itself from traditional vet clinics, but from existing startups looking to compete in the same sector.

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

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