Telehealth for Fur Babies: Culver City's Airvet Dials Up $14M Series A
Culver City-based Airvet's mission to connect more pets with vets is getting a boost.
The company announced Friday they have raised $14 million in a Series A round to expand their telemedicine and telehealth veterinary network.
CEO Brandon Werber said he's seen the number of users and doctors on its platform surge during the pandemic, as homebound pet owners scrambled to find pet care online. The company — which was launched in 2018 — now has a network of 2,600 veterinarians across 43 states, according to Werber.
The raise was led by Canvas Ventures and includes funding from e.ventures, Burst Capital, Starting Line, TrueSight Ventures, Hawke Ventures, Bracket Capital, Michael Stoppelman, and several major veterinary industry leaders. dot.LA founder Spencer Rascoff is also an investor.
Pet owners can download the app on Android or iPhone and set up a meeting with a licensed vet for a $30 flat fee per session. There's no time limit per session. Werber said often those sessions include follow-ups.
About 71% of pet owners go to Google or social media to answer their questions about their pet's odd behavior, Werber said, where they often get amateur advice that can put their furry friends at risk. That, he says, is the behavior he hopes Airvet can change.
He adds the platform isn't intended to replace in-person vet visits, but to give people unsure of whether to take their pet in another option.
"So the goal for us, isn't to say 'hey, use Airvet instead of going to the (vet's) office', it's 'use Airvet instead of going to Google,"' he said.
Werber is the son of "veterinarian to the stars" Dr. Jeff Werber, a regular face on KTLA who counts Demi Moore, Rod Stewart and Nick Jonas's pets among his patients.
Werber calls his father the company's chief vet officer and the inspiration for the platform.
Photo courtesy of Airvet
"The vet industry has no face," he said. "People don't know their own vets' name, 50% of pet owners don't even have a primary vet."
Telehealth has been growng in popularity during the pandemic, and healthcare apps like Cloudbreak and GoodRx have been expanding their businesses rapidly. Virtual veterinary medicine would be a logical next step.
Airvet provides both telehealth and telemedicine. The difference is subtle but important in veterinary medicine. Any user can download the app to get recommendations and suggestions from licensed vets. But only veterinarians who have an established relationship with the animal and the owner can actually prescribe drugs or care. In most states, that must be done in person, largely because a pet can't describe pain over video chat the way a human can. A vet often has to be physically present to assess the animal's condition.
Airvet can help establish those relationships, but for many, the app might be most useful to figure out whether their pet's condition is serious enough to require a visit to the local vet.
"Part of our business is we partner with vet hospitals [...] so that they can practice telemedicine with their own clients," Weber said, adding that the app can also be downloaded by "any pet owner in the country for telehealth and they can get advice and guidance and support and things from vets on demand 24/7."
Werber says the app's aim is to provide everyone the experience he had with his father, one of the nation's most recognizable vets, and someone he had on call at any time of day.
"I want every pet owner to know that they have a vet in their pocket, and if anything were to happen, day or night — even three in the morning — they can tap a button and a vet will be there to talk to them within a minute or less." Werber said.
- airvet - dot.LA ›
- Airvet Raises $14M to Provide Telehealth to Pets - dot.LA ›
- Is Telemedicine At a Tipping Point? L.A. Doctors Hope So - dot.LA ›
- Cuddly Raises $4M to Help Animal Shelters Collect Donations - dot.LA ›
- Modern Animal's CEO on How the Pandemic Boosted Apps - dot.LA ›
Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.
When the founders who lead the ten young startups selected for the 2020 Techstars LA class begin their three month accelerator program Monday, they won't be gathering in the Mid-Wilshire office and shaking hands as every other class has done. Like the rest of us, they will be working at home because of the coronavirus. Dinners, meetings, socializing, and mentoring sessions will all be online.
"A big part of the magic of the program is the relationships that are from proximity and from everyone working together in the same space and so what we're doing is we're endeavoring to create as much as that connection in the virtual world as possible," said Anna Barber, managing director of Techstars LA.
Pod People<p><a href="https://podpeople.com/" target="_blank">Pod People</a> is a full-service podcast production and staffing agency with a network of over 700 audio professionals across the globe.</p><p><a href="https://brdg.app/s/o56p6c" target="_blank">Contact the founder >></a> <br></p>
JoyHub<p><a href="https://www.joyhub.io/" target="_blank">JoyHub</a> 's enterprise software integrates multifamily operator systems into a single, centralized data platform. </p><p><a href="https://brdg.app/s/io9a3s" target="_blank">Contact the founder >></a> </p>
Ayana Therapy<p><a href="https://www.ayanatherapy.com/" target="_blank">Ayana Therapy</a> provides online therapy for minorities with an emphasis on intersectionality. </p><p><a href="https://brdg.app/s/gdwa78" target="_blank">Contact the founder >></a></p>
CLLCTVE<p><a href="http://cllctve.com/" target="_blank">CLLCTVE</a> is a platform connecting college creatives with brands targeting Gen-Z consumers. </p><p><a href="https://brdg.app/s/bgc9pp" target="_blank">Contact the founder >></a></p>
Lactation Lab<p><a href="https://www.lactationlab.com/" target="_blank">Lactation Lab</a> provides breast milk analysis and personalized recommendations for mothers to optimize their child's health and nutrition. </p><p><a href="https://brdg.app/s/t0173z" target="_blank">Contact the founder >></a></p>
Preveta<p><a href="https://www.preveta.com/" target="_blank">Preveta</a> is transforming cancer care by arming clinicians with data and insights to improve outcomes, and blazing a trail for providers to deliver value-based care.</p><p><a href="https://brdg.app/s/odhs9o" target="_blank">Contact the founder >></a></p>
Shop Latinx<p><a href="https://shoplatinx.com/" target="_blank">Shop LatinX</a> is the leading fashion and beauty lifestyle brand with products designed by and for the Latinx community. </p><p><a href="https://brdg.app/s/0luryb" target="_blank">Contact the founder >></a></p>
Sike Insights<p><a href="https://sikeinsights.com/" target="_blank">Sike Insights</a> powers remote teams to work better together. Our first product, Kona, is an AI-powered Slackbot that helps you communicate. </p><p><a href="https://brdg.app/s/d5ejl2" target="_blank">Contact the founder >></a></p>
StatsHelix<p><a href="http://statshelix.com" target="_blank">StatsHelix</a> is a B2B gametech company focused on esports and streaming. </p><p><a href="https://brdg.app/s/j4yp3j" target="_blank">Contact the founder >></a></p>
Thrive Education<p><a href="https://thrive-education.co/" target="_blank">Thrive Education</a> provides remote tele-assessments for learning differences (LDs) such as dyslexia, ADHD, and autism. </p><p><a href="https://brdg.app/s/1dn2dc" target="_blank">Contact the founder >></a></p>
- New Techstars Anywhere Accelerator Class has LA Company - dot.LA ›
- Here is Techstars' Starburst Space Accelerator Class - dot.LA ›
- Anna Barber Discusses Techstars and the Future of L.A. Tech - dot.LA ›
- Watch Techstars LA's 2020 Class Demo Day - dot.LA ›
LA Tech Updates: Apple Podcast Vet Joins QCODE, Amazon Reportedly in Talks to Buy Wondery, Pharrell's New Black Ambition Incubator
Apple Podcast Veteran Joins Startup QCODE<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDUzNTQzMC9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzNDUzMzYyNH0.pOGV2lL0qOJQDiWw1T5i4SqsGfaL54hLWED6_5Mf1Ww/img.png?width=980" id="8d68d" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="f2a47797239f360473fead53338231d4" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="qcode" />www.sonos.com <p>QCODE, a Los Angeles podcast startup run by a former Creative Artists Agency talent agent, snagged longtime Apple podcast executive Steve Wilson. The 15-year veteran will become QCODE's chief strategy officer.</p> <p>QCODE, which <a href="https://dot.la/sonos-podcast-qcode-2648395035.html" target="_self">last month raised $6.4 million</a> in a Series A round led by Sono, is positioning itself as a funnel for Hollywood. </p> <p>Founded by Rob Herting, a former agent who had represented largely writers and filmmakers, the company has produced eight shows since 2019. Several have been auctioned for film and television, including "Dirty Diana." Amazon picked up the 6-part erotic drama for a TV series.</p>Wilson, who most recently ran marketing for Apple Podcasts, brings insights from the behemoth platform as the industry sees revenues soar. Advertising brought in near $1 billion this year, according to Interactive Advertising Bureau's podcast report prepared by PwC.
Amazon Reportedly in Exclusive Talks to Buy Wondery<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDc5NDU5OS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0MjgyMDY3NX0.BHKSXjwra-gGsFEa7lXCCCMJXWV5cYxrZqhddj3-uds/img.jpg?width=980" id="d401d" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="c9c9eee1f9adc4c1d5edeca1af986a84" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="Hernan Lopez" />Hernan Lopez started Wondery with the belief that in-depth, narrative audio stories were poised to bloom.<p>Amazon is in "exclusive talks" to buy podcast company Wondery and subsume its 30 hit shows and over 8 million monthly listeners into its empire, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.</p> <p>The talks reportedly value Wondery above $300 million, in line with previous estimates from analysts, when Apple and Sony were said to have expressed interest.</p> <p>Wondery has produced dozens of original series including "Dr. Death" and "Business Wars," and has 19 shows currently in development to become television series. </p> <p>The company does not publicly disclose its financials, but chief executive Hernan Lopez has previously said the company is profitable. About three-quarters of Wondery's revenue comes from advertising, but Lopez has said the company's revenue share from content licensing is growing (Wondery owns the intellectual property for all of its originals). It also launched a subscription service, Wondery Plus, in June and is currently looking to expand its international footprint. </p> <p>Wondery, the West Hollywood-based company with the largest audience of any independent podcast producer, has been the subject of swirling rumors that several suitors are interested in acquiring it.</p> <p>After a pandemic-induced decline that struck much of the podcasting industry, Wondery's audience has surpassed its pre-COVID levels. Its Q3 revenue was about double year-on-year and its Q4 performance has been strong, Lopez previously told dot.LA. </p> <p>Podcasting overall now attracts over 100 million monthly listeners, according to Edison Research. The Interactive Advertising Bureau projects podcasting revenues to exceed $1 billion by 2021.</p> <p>That growth has spurred somewhat of an arms race, most evident in Spotify's spending spree, which also has helped that company diversify from its reliance on streaming. Amazon Music is one of Spotify's biggest competitors along with Apple Music, and <a href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/amazon-music-joins-podcasting-fray-11600261201?mod=article_inline" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">recently expanded into podcasts as well</a>. </p> <p>Acquiring Wondery would give Amazon more content to slide into Amazon Music, a scaled-down version of which is free for Amazon Prime subscribers. Combining that content with its Alexa smart speaker also could empower the company to capture more eyes and ears in the increasingly competitive attention economy. </p> <p>The talks are reportedly ongoing and no deal has been confirmed. </p>
- Sonos backs LA Podcast Studio QCODE with $6.4M Investment - dot ... ›
- Stem Music Rights Management Software, Raises $10 Million - dot.LA ›