The company's co-founders are CEO Daniel Attia, the serial entrepreneur who raised $23M from the investment arm of Savills to build the online estate agency Yopa, and COO Russell Welsh, a qualified veterinary surgeon with 23 years experience in the industry.
He has held multiple executive and operational frontline roles within veterinary groups. He was co-owner of Village Vet, a 33-site primary care and referral veterinary group exiting to private equity in 2017 and then to MARS Veterinary Health in 2018.
The co-founders have personal experience of the problems they're looking to solve.
After getting two large-breed dogs during lockdown, Attia found it challenging to secure vet appointments and was forced to sign up with six different practices.
And, as a vet, Welsh was all too aware of the toll of booming pet ownership on overworked, burned-out veterinary teams.
He had also seen how corporate takeovers of independent clinics – six companies now own almost half of all veterinary practices – could lead to cost stripping and unhappy staff and customers.
Russell Welsh, COO and co-founder of Creature Comforts, commented:
"When you can access it, vet care in the UK is almost always exemplary, but the experience around it is broken.
Pet owners struggle daily with a lack of continuity of service, glitchy tech, inconsistent pricing, and operational inefficiencies. And vets are struggling with unsustainable caseloads and chronic stress.
There's clearly room for a new veterinary care experience offering world-class customer service and working conditions for vets and their hardworking teams.
Because we know that when employees are happy, their human and non-human customers are happy too."
Sam Jones, partner at Torch Capital, comments:
"As pet owners' healthcare expectations continue to climb and pets are increasingly treated as true family members, consumers demand a premium experience and deeper relationship with their vet.
Creature Comforts' integrated approach, combining telehealth consultations with aesthetically beautiful and digitally enabled in-person clinics, prioritises both the customer experience and the wellbeing of veterinary staff.
Having seen the tremendous value this model has provided both consumers and vets in the US, we are incredibly excited by what the business is set to achieve across the UK."
The cash injection will be used to design, open and staff its first two clinics, with a St John's Wood branch due to open in early 2024, followed by another in a prime London location.
It will also fund the build of a proprietary app by an in-house tech team, supporting 24/7 virtual care and customer queries, and letting vets work flexibly and from home, while giving pet owners fast and unlimited access to expertise outside of normal opening hours.
As well as a best-in-class clinic experience – architecturally designed to help keep animals calm – Creature Comforts will operate a monthly subscription model which includes unlimited consultations, annual vaccinations, member rates for neutering, dental treatments and routine medications, and community events. Customers can also pay-as-they-go.
Lead image: Creature Comforts. Photo: Uncredited.