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November 6, 2019updated 07 Nov 2019 1:40pm

FirstVet raises €18.5m to expand its service

By Asena Degirmenci

Swedish start-up FirstVet, which works with insurance firms, has closed an €18.5m ($20.5m) Series B funding round led by London-based venture capital firm OMERS Ventures.

OMERS Ventures launched a €300m fund aimed at European technology start-ups earlier this year.

Early-stage venture capital firm Creandum, which previously led FirstVet’s Series A, also participated.

Founded in 2016, FirstVet provides pet-owners with on-demand video consultations with local, qualified veterinarians.

The funding will enable FirstVet to expand the company’s services and launch in markets, such as the United States, Germany and France. The company will continue to develop its product and introduce features, such as new automation tools and integration with clinics’ existing systems.

This latest round of financing takes FirstVet’s total funding to-date to €24.5m.

FirstVet currently has more than 200,000 registered users and has helped over 150,000 pets in five markets – the United Kingdom, Norway, Denmark, Finland, and its native Sweden.

The company is partnered with over 20 major insurance companies, including Bought By Many in the UK. Service is free-of-charge for millions of pet owners and helps to address the issue of widespread veterinarian shortages.

There are currently 150 veterinarians on the platform.

FirstVet CEO and co-founder David Prien said: “FirstVet is the first truly neutral stakeholder in the world to coordinate pet care. In what is a highly privatised industry, our reliable service provides value to the entire sector, and we are growing at an incredible rate.

“We’re hugely excited to partner with OMERS Ventures as we have been actively looking for a partner which not only shares our core values but who can support our long-term vision to improve the animal care process for all stakeholders. Being the VC arm of the OMERS pension plan means that OMERS Ventures operates with a long-term vision of value creation, and has a fantastic track record in partnering to transform great companies into market influencers. Together we can continue implementing our ambitious plans while simultaneously improving the global veterinary industry.”

OMERS Ventures principal Henry Gladwyn said: “At OMERS Ventures, we invest in and partner with the best and brightest entrepreneurs and teams in tech to build a prosperous future, so FirstVet is the perfect fit for us.

“It’s rare for a start-up to provide genuine value to the entire ecosystem in which it operates, with FirstVet quickly becoming an irreplaceable service for pet owners, and a trusted partner for vets, clinics, and insurance companies. FirstVet has ambitions to become the global leader in on-demand video veterinary appointments, and we are delighted to be on board to help them achieve this goal.”

Creandum general partner Staffan Helgesson said: “FirstVet’s success, evidenced by its fast growth and user love, is the result of the company’s ability to provide an exceptional and much-appreciated service to pet owners. FirstVet is already conquering the Scandinavian and UK markets and we’re thrilled to continue to be part of their journey.”

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