Office Hours: Airvet Founder and CEO Brandon Werber On Shifting to B2B

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is a reporter at dot.LA. Prior to that, she was an editorial fellow at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

Office Hours: Airvet Founder and CEO Brandon Werber On Shifting to B2B
Brandon Werber

On this episode of Office Hours, Airvet Founder and CEO Brandon Werber explains the importance of teamwork, and the company’s shift to B2B.

In 2018, Werber launched Airvet, a Beverly Hills-based digital health company for pets. Airvet works with employers and business partners to make sure pet parents get affordable and fast access to virtual vet care via video and chat.

“Our whole vision is to democratize pet care and then help the vet industry with their national shortage by creating better tools for vets,” Werber said.

Growing up as the son of a veterinarian, Werber knows the value of having access to a pet care expert on-demand.

“It shouldn't be a luxury to be able to care for your pets,” he said. “Pets are part of the family just like kids, and it shouldn't be something that's reserved for the high net worth of the people that are super connected. Every single pet family should have access to the same level of care, the same frequency and the best doctors at a price they can afford.”

But Werber’s first foray into entrepreneurship dates back to 2012 when he founded his first startup Lootsie, an advertising platform. But unfortunately, he didn’t have much luck getting it off the ground.

“I took all the network and a lot of the investors that invested in that company that were our first investors at Airvet that got it off the ground,” he said.

While his first startup didn’t make it, Werber admitted that one of the biggest lessons he learned was the importance of having a good team.

“Team is everything,” Werber said. “Better than the product, better than the idea, better than the TAM or the market. Your team and largely your leadership team is going to be — especially at an early stage — the key to success.”

Because that aspect was crucial, Werber was sure to choose wisely.

“We actually went through a couple iterations of our leadership team before we got it to where it is today, " he said. “Which is like the perfect Apollo crew.”

In addition to having the perfect crew, Werber said another big takeaway from his first startup was knowing when to say no.

“As a first time founder, there's so much excitement, so much passion and it drives everything,” Werber expressed. “You become almost blinded by just building off pure passion and energy and you want to say yes to everything.”

But even so, Werber, a second time founder, is constantly learning new things about the business.

“The first thing when you go to market is you want to sell to the people who need your product, and that's the most obvious path,” he said. “So who needs our product? Who's the end user? It's pet families.”

Werber said that’s how Airvet initially started–following the direct to consumer route.

“But there's a big difference —especially in this market — between growth at all costs, and actually building a business that has healthy margins, healthy unit economics, and really taking a step back and looking at the fundamentals of the business,” he said“Is this scalable? Am I going to be able to build a profitable business over the next few years with this path to growth?”

While Airvet was seeing tremendous growth, Werber saw the uptick in customer acquisition cost and it forced him to pivot to an enterprise solution.

“We could do all the optimization we can,” he said. “But it ends up being an extraordinarily expensive game, you could tell that the current strategy wasn't working.”

Werber added, “we acquire them (customers) through businesses. So it's known as B to B to C. So now what we're doing is we're selling to enterprises, largely employers and their employee benefits teams within those large jumbo employers to create a new category of pet family benefits. So that the end user is the pet family, in this case, the employee gets Airvet at no cost, and it's subsidized by the employer.”

dot.LA Reporter Decerry Donato contributed to this post.

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“Millions of Dollars Completely Wasted”: Without Neuromarketing, Tech Firms’ Ads Get Lost in the Noise

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He holds a degree in journalism from Emerson College and previously covered technology and entertainment for TheWrap and reported on the SoCal startup scene for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Send tips or pitches to and find him on Twitter @Samsonamore.

“Millions of Dollars Completely Wasted”: Without Neuromarketing, Tech Firms’ Ads Get Lost in the Noise

At Super Bowl LVII, advertisers paid at least $7 million for 30–second ad spots, and even more if they didn’t have a favorable relationship with Fox. But the pricey commercials didn’t persuade everyone.

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ComplYant Founder and CEO Shiloh Johnson on Why Tax Knowledge Is Her ‘Superpower’

Yasmin Nouri

Yasmin is the host of the "Behind Her Empire" podcast, focused on highlighting self-made women leaders and entrepreneurs and how they tackle their career, money, family and life.

Each episode covers their unique hero's journey and what it really takes to build an empire with key lessons learned along the way. The goal of the series is to empower you to see what's possible & inspire you to create financial freedom in your own life.

ComplYant Founder and CEO Shiloh Johnson on Why Tax Knowledge Is Her ‘Superpower’

On this episode of Behind Her Empire, ComplYant founder and CEO Shiloh Johnson discusses her journey to building a multimillion dollar business and making knowledge of taxes more accessible.

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Taylor Swift Concert in the Metaverse? Ticketing Platform Token Is Using NFTs To Optimize Experiences

Andria Moore

Andria is the Social and Engagement Editor for dot.LA. She previously covered internet trends and pop culture for BuzzFeed, and has written for Insider, The Washington Post and the Motion Picture Association. She obtained her bachelor's in journalism from Auburn University and an M.S. in digital audience strategy from Arizona State University. In her free time, Andria can be found roaming LA's incredible food scene or lounging at the beach.

Taylor Swift Concert in the Metaverse? Ticketing Platform Token Is Using NFTs To Optimize Experiences
Evan Xie

When Taylor Swift announced her ‘Eras’ tour back in November, all hell broke loose.

Hundreds of thousands of dedicated Swifties — many of whom were verified for the presale — were disappointed when Ticketmaster failed to secure them tickets, or even allow them to peruse ticketing options.

But the Taylor Swift fiasco is just one of the latest in a long line of complaints against the ticketing behemoth. Ticketmaster has dominated the event and concert space since its merger with Live Nation in 2010 with very few challengers — until now.

Adam Jones, founder and CEO of Token, a fan-first commerce platform for events, said he has the platform and the tech ready to take it on. With Token, Jones is creating a system where there are no queues. In other words, fans know immediately which events are sold out and where.

“We come in very fortunate to have a modern, scalable tech stack that's not going to have all these outages or things being down,” Jones said. “That's step one. The other thing is we’re being aggressively transparent about what we’re doing and how we’re doing it. So with the Taylor Swift thing…you would know in real time if you actually have a chance of getting the tickets.”

Here’s how it works: Users register for Token’s app and then purchase tickets to either an in-person event, or an event in the metaverse through Animal Concerts. The purchased ticket automatically shows up in the form of a mintable NFT, which can then be used toward merchandise purchases, other ticketed events or, Adams’s hope for the future — external rewards like airline travel. The more active a user is on the site, the more valuable their NFT becomes.

Ticketmaster has dominated the music industry for so long because of its association with big name artists. To compete, Token is working on gaining access to their own slew of popular artists. They recently entered into a partnership with Animal Concerts, a live and non-live event experiences platform that houses artists like Alicia Keys, Snoop Dogg and Robin Thicke.

“You'll see they do all the metaverse side of the house,” Jones said. “And we're going to be the [real-life] web3 sides of the house.”

In addition, Token prides itself on working with the artists selling on their platform to set up the best system for their fanbase, devoid of hefty prices and additional fees — something Ticketmaster users have often complained about. Jones believes where Ticketmaster fails, Token thrives. The app incentivizes users to share more data about their interests, venues and artists by operating on a kind of points system in the form of mintable NFTs.

“We can actually take the dataset and say there’s 100 million people in the globe that love Taylor Swift, so imagine she’s going on tour and we ask [the user], ‘Would you go to see her in Detroit?’ And imagine this place has 30,000 seats, but 100,000 people clicked ‘yes,’” he explained. “So you can actually inform the user before anything even happens, right? About what their options are and where to get it.”

Tixr, a Santa-Monica based ticketing app, was founded on the idea that modern ticketing platforms were “living in the legacy of the past.” They plan to attract users by offering them exclusive access to ticketed events that aren’t in Ticketmaster’s registry.

“It melts commerce that's beyond ticketing…to allow fans to experience and purchase things that don't necessarily have to do with tickets,” said Tixr CEO and Founder Robert Davari. “So merchandise, and experiences, and hospitality and stuff like that are all elegantly melded into this one, content driven interface.”

Tixr sells tickets to exclusive concerts like a Tyga performance at a night club in Arizona, general in-person festivals like ComplexCon, and partners with local vendors like The Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach to sell tickets to the races. Plus, Davari said it’s equipped to handle high-demand, so customers aren’t spending hours waiting in digital queues.

Like Token, Tixr has also found success with a rewards program — in the form of fan marketing.

“There's nothing more powerful in the core of any event, brand, any live entertainment, [than] the community behind it,” Davari said. “So we build technology to empower those fans and to reward them for bringing their friends and spreading the word.”

Basically, if a user gets a friend to purchase tickets to an event, then the original user gets rewarded in the form of discounts or upgrades.

Coupled with their platforms’ ability to handle high-demand events, both Jones and Davari believe their platforms have what it takes to take on Ticketmaster. Expansion into the metaverse, they think, will also help even the playing field.

“So imagine you can't go to Taylor Swift,” Jones said. “What if you could purchase an exclusive to actually go to that exact same show over the metaverse? An artist’s whole world can expand past the stage itself.”

With the way ticketing for events works now, obviously not everyone always gets the exact price, venue or date they want. There are “winners and losers.” Jones’s hope is that by expanding beyond in-person events, there can be more winners.

“If there’s 100,000 people who want to go to one show and there's 37,000 seats, 70,000 are out,” he said. “You can't fight that. But what we can do is start to give them other opportunities to do things in a different way and actually still participate.”

Jones and Davari both teased that their platforms have some exciting developments in the works, but for now both Token and Tixr are set on making their own space within the industry.

“We simply want to advance this industry and make it more efficient and more pleasurable for fans to buy,” Davari said. “That's it.”