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Latest news and insights from the Canvas Ventures team

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June 2020

Our Investment in Airvet

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Over the past 3 months, we’ve witnessed 2 fascinating trends: accelerated adoption of telemedicine and telehealth with visits surging 50%, and a spike in pet ownership with the ASPCA seeing a 70% increase in animal adoptions.

And these trends are nothing new. Telemedicine has faced several favorable tailwinds over the past decade to facilitate more widespread telemedicine adoption. With my prior investment in the medical professional network Doximity, which recently launched a new telemedicine platform that already supports over 1M calls a month, I deeply understood the magnitude of the opportunity. The explosion of telemedicine coupled with millennials increasingly favoring pet ownership and nearly 40% of households owning at least 1 dog (with more dogs than kids in San Francisco!). The U.S. pet market is nearing $100B in 2020 and Chewy, with a market cap of nearly $20B, is one of the 20 largest venture-backed companies of the past decade.

Today, Grace Isford and I are excited to announce an investment capitalizing on both of those tailwinds: Airvet, the first pet-driven telemedicine and telehealth platform. Unlike any of the other pet telehealth platforms on the market, Airvet approaches the market with a philosophical difference to put pets and pet-owners first. Pet health is also relatively underpenetrated in telehealth and telemedicine today.

As pet owners ourselves, our love of pets and commitment to keeping them healthy made us particularly excited about the investment. Rebecca has 13 pets (including horses, cows, chickens, a cat and a dog) and Grace has 2 dogs who are members of the family. We know the cost and convenience factor of a virtual vet especially if it means saving a late-night emergency room trip.

Pet owners can download the Airvet app and start using the product immediately — you can video chat with a vet on-demand for any urgent matters (at any time of day) or schedule an appointment with your primary vet. The product is sticky and users typically come back several times a year — a dramatic improvement from the norm of pet owners seeing their existing vets once every 9 months. The pet love for Airvet is also exemplified by some of the highest app store ratings we’ve seen — the #1 rated pet telemedicine app with 4.9 stars across 2.3K reviews.

Vets view Airvet as a revenue-generating tool both for curbside in-person pickups and maintenance checks. It’s easy for vets to use and sign up with with high vet and hospital engagement. While you can’t do all pet examinations or surgeries via virtual vet, Airvet is particularly effective for maintenance checks, after-hour visits and facilitating curbside check-in so a pet-owner can virtually chat without in-person contact.

We are especially excited about Airvet due to founder and CEO Brandon Werber and his vision for the company. When we first met Brandon (virtually), he made time for us less than 24 hours after his wife had delivered their first child! His dedication to the company and focus on surrounding himself with those who can help him execute and grow his vision is unparalleled. Like us, Brandon shares a love of pets, and also possesses a unique empathy for vets, having grown up in a vet household himself, and is uniquely motivated to improve the experience for all involved. He also is the proud owner of two adorable french bulldogs.

It’s only just the beginning. Airvet is in a unique position to expand further into other pet health verticals and continue to forge partnerships with major players in the pet space.

At Canvas, we take pride in helping our founders fulfill their visions to meaningfully change the world and we couldn’t be more excited to partner with Airvet to dramatically improve the pet health experience. For any pet owners out there, try Airvet out for your next check-up or vet visit today!

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