Scratchpay Financial, the veterinary care-focused financial technology company, announced June 19 that it has secured a $6.4 million Series A funding round, led by Companion Fund, the first venture capital fund focused on pet care innovation. Scratchpay helps more pets get access to the care they need with simple and friendly payment plans for veterinary services that benefit clinics and pet owners alike. It plans to use this funding to fuel growth in the United States and expand internationally. TTV Capital, Struck Capital and SWS Venture Capital, the investment arm of Green Dot Corporation founder Steve Streit, also participated in the round.
“53 million pets today aren’t able to get the care they need as costs continue to increase even faster than human healthcare costs -- and that’s the problem we’re aiming to solve,” said John Keatley, CEO and co-founder of Scratchpay. “Our mission is to remove the financial barriers that prevent pets from getting care, and as we continue to pursue that, we’re thrilled to have the validation and support of these pre-eminent venture firms, along with Mars Petcare.”
Since launching in 2016, Scratchpay has helped tens of thousands of pets receive vital veterinary care through its mobile-first financing platform that offers transparent plans with no hidden fees or deferred interest, and without impacting their owners’ credit score when they compare payment options. As the only fintech company focused exclusively on veterinary care, Scratchpay has seen tremendous adoption among veterinarians and now serves more than 2,000 pet hospitals with smart, friendly, and simple payment plans. Scratchpay drives the highest approval rates in the industry by looking beyond FICO scores with its proprietary lending algorithm that leverages artificial intelligence and unique data points. The service removes both risk and operational hassle allowing veterinarians to focus on delivering great care.
“The impact that Scratchpay has had on our business is significant,” said Lane Simpson from SPCA Tampa Bay Veterinary Center. “The process takes little staff time to manage and payment is quick and easy. Not only are we able to see more animals and provide more services, but we are also able to meet the long-term needs of our clients and their pets.”
Launched in March 2018 and managed by Digitalis Ventures, Companion Fund is the first venture capital fund to focus exclusively on innovations in pet care. “With the veterinary industry reaching nearly $20 billion in the U.S. alone, the market opportunity is huge for companies like Scratchpay that can find ways to make vets’ lives easier,” said Drew Taylor, partner, Digitalis. “Our goal with Companion Fund is to bring to light new startups that have the potential to reshape the pet care industry — fast-tracking innovation and driving change across the $100 billion global pet market. Scratchpay is one such startup poised to grow and make a real impact in the lives of pets, pet owners and vets.”
New shelter data casts doubt on whether the pet population and pet ownership are truly growing.
While the pandemic caused unprecedented suffering worldwide in 2020, the disruptions to dogs, cats and other pets adoption numbers may normalize in 2021.