Bond Vet Launches Northeast Expansion

Bond Vet, a chain of walk-in veterinary practices that provides emergency care for cats and dogs, is gearing up to double in size this year and expand its footprint, with openings in the Boston and New York metro areas. Washington DC.

Bond Vet is growing as a number of competitors, ranging from larger pet retailers to smaller startups, are all trying to grab a slice of the lucrative pet healthcare market. It targets millennial metropolitan pet parents who are looking for a quick and convenient place to get help for a sick dog or cat.

Bond Vet’s expansion is fueled by a $170 million investment from private equity firm Warburg Pincus, the same investment firm that acquired CityMD in 2017 and merged it with medical practice Summit Medical Group to create the dominant urgent care chain in New York and New Jersey.

When the Warburg Pincus investment was announced last fall, the private equity firm said it was looking to tap into the growing market and increased demand for veterinary services.

Pet version of CityMD

Bond Vet bills itself as a pet version of CityMD by offering a convenient emergency care option, but the company has also drawn inspiration from cutting-edge human healthcare providers like One Medical, a said Bond Vet co-founder and CEO Mo Punjani.

Bond Vet’s telehealth services and its technology stack, including in-clinic software and software for pet parents, provide pet owners with the kind of technological healthcare experiences pioneered by One Medical, a said Punjani.

Bond Vet opened its first clinic in mid-2019, in the Cobble Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn. It now has 11 clinics in New York and plans to grow to 25 locations by the end of this year. The first openings outside of the New York metro area will be in the Boston metro area and Bethesda, MD.

Since 2019, Bond Vet clinics have treated over 100,000 pets. Dogs represent 70% of clinic visitors and cats 30%.

Bond Vet describes their clinics as being able to take care of ailments and issues that go beyond routine checkups, but don’t require an emergency pet hospital – issues like bites, lameness, loss of appetite, overgrown nails, or an animal that swallowed a toy or ate something they shouldn’t have eaten.

Chewy, PetSmart, Petco also in the race

Bond Vet is facing competition in pet health from the three biggest dogs in pet retail – Chewy, PetSmart and Petco – who have all said they are targeting services vets and prescriptions as the main driver of growth.

Concierge veterinary startup Small Door Veterinary, which uses a membership model, raised $20 million last year to fund expansion, with a goal of 24 more clinics by 2025. It currently has three sites in the New York metropolitan area.

A mobile pet care startup that comes to you, The Vets, recently secured $40 million in funding to expand vet recruitment. The vets currently operate in Miami, Tampa, Dallas, Austin, Houston, Portland, Seattle, Las Vegas, Denver and New York, and plan to add 15 more cities by the end of this year. It was founded in 2021 under lead investor Target Global’s venture capital program.

Vet burnout is a problem

The demand for veterinarians is skyrocketing. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment of veterinarians will grow 17% between 2020 and 2030, outpacing other occupations. Turnover, burnout and psychological distress among veterinarians are driving more retirements and career changes, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Bond solved that problem, Punjani said, by creating a company that provides the best working environment for vets and nurses.

This has resulted in “extremely high retention for our vets and nurses and an ability to take all sorts of things out of their administrative burden. and give them the tools to do their best,” Punjani said.

One of Bond Vet’s co-founders is Dr. Zay Satchu, who advocates for creating healthy work environments for veterinarians.

The clinics, which range in size from 2,000 to 4,000 square feet, are designed to be relaxing spaces for pets and owners, and also allow for efficient workflows.

Punjani said Bond Vet differentiates itself from veterinary services offered by large retailers and startups by focusing on disease response. At a big-box retailer, he said, a pet could not be treated for many illnesses that can be treated at Bond.

Additionally, the technology Bond Vet has created to allow vets and clients to manage appointments and treatments would be difficult for a competitor to replicate, he said. This technology provides note-taking assistance, enables communication between doctors and pet owners, and powers the 24-hour helpline staffed by nurses.

Bond Vet also offers a less expensive alternative for sick animals, he said. Pet owners can save about 50% of the cost of a trip to an emergency pet hospital by using a Bond Vet clinic, Punjani said.

For the near future, Punjani said, Bond Vet is focused on expanding into the northeast, “but ultimately we believe our value proposition to pets, pet parents, vets and nurses will be welcome across the country,” he said.

Bond has a head start in the race to capture millennials’ spending on pet healthcare, but he’ll have to outrun other pet players in pursuit of those dollars.

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