Make no bones about it, Fuzzy expands reach into pet care market with capital infusion

Pets are big business. The 48 million dogs and cats that were adopted over the past three years drove the sales in this area to $100 billion in 2020. Delays in getting appointments and stress on veterinarians were caused by the lack of new veterinarians.

Fuzzy announced today that it will be receiving $44 million in growth funding to expand its digital pet care network of veterinary professionals to alleviate some of the strain on the industry and make care accessible and affordable to all. In March, the company raised $18 million in a Series B round.

The company provides live chat and telehealth, ship-to- home prescriptions, vet-curated items, educational content and programs. Fuzzy's approach can save pet parents up to $750 a year on healthcare expenses.

The big story in 2020 was that everyone needed a service for themselves, and we saw that transfer to pets and then exacerbated by the industry. The surge in people getting pets caused emergency room waits to grow to up to 10 hours, while it took four to six weeks to get a vet appointment.

Fuzzy hopes to encourage pet parents to consider the health of their pet on a more regular basis by leading the shift to more telehealth services. The company has amassed data and expertise to be able to expand delivery care at scale.

Bhettay wasn't planning to raise additional funds so soon after the Series B, but said accelerated growth in the business enabled the company to hire more, check off more of the to-do list items over the past eight months and provide a unique opportunity to lean in on partnerships and

Fuzzy memberships, which start for free and then a monthly subscription of $24.99 or annual subscription for $99.99, have increased through partnerships with retailers and vet groups. Bhettay did not reveal the company's valuation, but did say that it was more than a three-time increase from the Series B round.

Existing investors Greycroft, Matrix and Crosscut, as well as former Chewy chairman Mark Vadon and Clearlake Group founder Jose Feliciano, were involved in the round. 25% of the capital was raised from underrepresented communities.

Fuzzy live chat on its app. The image is called Fuzzy.

Fuzzy has 25 locations and plans to expand the vet network with the new funding, as well as the development and launch of new product offerings.

Bhettay wants to see pet care go from one year to the next. There are some features and products that we can bring into the business to accelerate that path, as well as acquisitions in the next six to 12 months.

There are a number of startups that are trying to capture that household spend in the areas of healthcare, insurance and food. Bhettay thinks that the market is shifting to the digitalization of pet care and that the larger incumbents are focusing here.

One dog had to be taken to the emergency vet because Tom had to wait weeks to get them in to see a vet.

Bhettay is building a strong team to go after a space that is ripe for disruption.

The problems are worse because the system has not grown in a way to support that. Fuzzy is putting in place a plan that will encourage interaction to become more frequent and make the lives of pets better.

Warburg Pincus gave Bond Vet $170 million.

Digital health is a strong bet for 2021.