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Our obsession with pets means startups aimed at vets are booming, as Digitail shows

With our mysterious, unsustainable and psychological attachment to pets, combined with a boom in pet ownership since those lonely pandemic times, veterinary practices have come under increasing pressure.

Pet ownership has increased (56 to 70% U.S. household penetration in the last 35 years). But, there are not enough vets.

To meet demand, a vet currently needs to see more than 32 patients a day, and by 2030, the U.S. will need nearly 41,000 additional veterinarians on current trends.

Just like doctors, vets spend a lot of their day on admin, while legacy systems are creaking under the weight of the new work.

This antiquated sector has become a ripe arena for tech companies. Rhapsody was bought by Chewy in H2 2022. Vetspire was bought by Pathaway/Thrive (Vet group). And ezyVet was bought by Idexx in H1 2022. And that’s just to name a few.

We covered Digitail, a startup that grew out of Romania that automates the admin for veterinarians, back in 2021 at their seed round.

The startup has now closed an $11 million Series A funding round led by Atomico. They join previous investors byFounders, Gradient and Partech. Atomico principal Andreas Helbig joins the Digitail board as part of the investment. Allison Pickens (former COO of Gainsight) is joining as an angel with her new fund new-normal.ventures.

Digitail will use the funding to further scale operations across the U.S. and Canada, as well as develop the product.

The SaaS solution combines a management platform, a "pet parent" app for pet owners and a Data Hub providing medical and business insights to veterinarians.

It claims veterinarians are able to see 2x as many patients using the software.

Digitail was founded in 2018 by Sebastian Gabor (CEO) and Ruxandra Pui (CPO), who had previously founded the development studio and IT consultancy ITGambit together.

Gabor told me the company started 2022 with $150,000 in ARR and ended Q4 2022 by passing $1 million in ARR with over 700 animal hospitals worldwide using Digitail PIMS on a daily basis. He claims there are currently over 1.4 million pet profiles in Digitail in more than 10 countries.

He says he was inspired to create Digitail after having to completely restart his dog’s vaccination plan following a mis-scheduled appointment.

U.S. pet care is estimated to grow from $118 billion in 2019 to $277 billion by 2030.