Veterinary company Modern Animal, cofounded and spearheaded by Under 30 honoree Steven Eidelman, announced today that it has raised $75.5 million. The funding comes from two (previously unannounced) investments over the past year: a $35.5M Series A led by True Ventures and Addition, and a $40M Series B led by Founders Fund, who also led the Modern Animal’s $13 million seed round in 2019.
Eidelman, cofounder and CEO of Modern Animal says that their goal when starting the company was to create pet care for the 21st century: seamless access through its mobile app, 24/7 telemedicine, offering beautiful clinics, and a place where veterinary professionals would feel comfortable.
According to Eidelman, the experience of being in the clinic as a pet owner with the stress and the anxiety is very expensive, given there’s nobody else paying for clients’ pet’s care other than themselves (not the government and usually not the company), so their goal was to make that experience worth the money and the time.
“Most people think of pet companies serving the pet themselves, but we think about how we serve the human,” Eidelman says. “In many ways we think of ourselves as being the first human-focused veterinary company.”
In addition, Eidelman says that the veterinary profession is going through a massive crisis, with the churn in the industry extremely high, mainly due to stress and because veterinarians who have finished 4 years of medical school face large debt.
“There’s a lot of amazing veterinarians, but there’s not enough of them,” Eidelman says. “Especially now, coming out of the pandemic everyone seems to have gotten a pet, so we wonder how do we create a more efficient and productive experience for practitioners.”
Eidelman says that Modern Animal solves the problem through technology, by creating efficiency and a more intelligent labour model.
What has been particularly popular is Modern Animal’s telemedicine offering, which both saves time and money for pet owners, as well as resources when it comes to veterinarians, as they don’t have to spend the time checking a pet that is likely healthy.
Modern Animal offers a membership model charging an annual fee of $100 per pet, which covers all exam fees and 24/7 telemedicine. The company also generates revenue by offering everything that a general veterinarian practice would offer, with the exception of 24 hour emergency and specialists’ care (such as oncologists).
At the moment, Modern Animal operates one location (opened in April of 2020) in West Hollywood, which has hit capacity at 4,000 active members and currently has a waitlist. Eidelman says that each member spends about $1000 a year, and on average comes to the clinic 5 times a year, while interacting with veterinarians about 40 times a year through telemedicine. The company’s plans are to open about a dozen locations over the next 18 months across California.
Prior to cofounding Modern Animal, Eidelman (whose parents are Ukrainian immigrants), graduated from University of Pennsylvania, worked as a management consultant at Bain, and cofounded a pet wearables company called Whistle, which was sold to Mars for $117 million in 2016 (thanks to Whistle in 2014 Eidelman made the Under 30 Consumer Technology list). Two years later, Eidelman cofounded Modern Animal along with Ben Jacobs (cofounder of Whistle and currently a board member at Modern Animal), and David Bowman (currently a board member at Modern Animal).
The Los Angeles-based company currently has 80 employees, and with the 13.5 million seed round, the total amount of equity investment in Modern Animal has grown to $89 million.
Tony Conrad, a partner at True Ventures, says that in the pet industry there’s a set of problems for the consumers and the veterinarians’ side, which according to him, is probably even more front and center in the case of Modern Animal.
“By addressing some of the challenges and stress points that happen for vets, you create a culture which then engages with the end users: the pet owner and the pet itself in a more sincere, and frankly happier way,” Conrad says.