Technology turned out to be a boon for pets during the pandemic. Without ready access to vets, pet owners turned to mobile apps to keep track on their pet's health, often via educational content, and in some cases that was linked to insurance providers. The behavior has lit up the VC world as startups roll out these relatively simple ups which turn out to be big money-spinners when this insurance angle is attached.
This is why pet app and insurance provider Lassie has today closed an €11m Series A round led by Felix Capital. Also participating were existing investors Inventure and Passion Capital, as well as prominent angels such as Josefin Landgård (co-founder KRY & Mantle), Fredrik & Caroline Hjelm (VOI siblings) and Karl-Johan Persson (Chair H&M). The proceeds will be used to scale the business beyond its home base of Sweden.
Some seven in 10 pet parents take their pet's physical and mental health more seriously than their own, so Lassie's pitch is that it reduces not just vet costs but also prevents injuries from happening in the first place. Pet owners are then rewarded with lower insurance prices if they complete educational courses on good pet care.
Lassie co-founder and CEO Hedda Båverud Olsson said in a statement: "We see a big shift as now people start to view their insurance as something that can help prevent illnesses. We are now looking to bring more products to market and take our preventive pet insurance beyond Sweden."
Susan Lin, Partner at Felix Capital added: "Over the past decade, we've seen a continued shift in modern family structures and attitudes towards pets as an increasingly critical member of the family. Along with tremendous interest and engagement in preventive health and wellness, these trends have only been further accelerated through COVID-19."
Lassie's biggest current competitors are Bought by Many (ManyPets) and Dalma.
Olsson told me: "We're all transforming Pet Insurance to become more digital, empathy-driven, and seamless. What makes Lassie very unique (and our blue ocean strategy) is our preventative business model…. We're on a mission to become a central pet-care platform and we've already established a large database on pet health, enabling us to make market-leading discoveries about preventive health."