Wagmo, a pet wellness company covering everyday care for dogs and cats, today announced that is has closed an oversubscribed $3 million seed round co-led by Harlem Capital and Vestigo Ventures.
With participation from Female Founders Fund, Clocktower Technology Ventures, and The Fund. Several existing and angel investors, representing Flatiron Health, Clover Health and more, also participated in the round.
Wagmo will primarily use the funds to further scale its operations, build out the team, and expand its partnership distribution model with pilot pet services and employee perk programs.
Founded by Christie Horvath and Ali Foxworth, Wagmo is helping pet parents get the best care for their dogs and cats by offering plans that cover the day-to-day essentials, including routine and preventative expenses such as annual exams, vaccines, and grooming. Horvath and Foxworth leveraged their insurance expertise and experience as pet owners to create three-tiered membership plans – Basic, Legit, and Extra – starting at $15/month, effectively priced utilizing the same techniques used by traditional insurance plans. Wagmo’s plans are designed to deliver immediate, tangible value to customers nationwide by providing reimbursement for the things people already do to keep their pets healthy and happy.
“We are a scrappy team of pet-obsessed, insurance nerds ready to change the status quo,” said Christie Horvath, CEO and Co-Founder of Wagmo. “Our pets’ wellness needs change over time and Wagmo is committed to continuously evolving to help pet parents get the best care for their pets. When my dog, Denver, started having debilitating seizures, I was hit with a new and very sincere appreciation for how challenging – and all-consuming – pet parenting can be. By covering the basics, we’re learning more about our customers’ wishes and pain points, and are able to proactively address the tenets of traditional pet insurance that simply aren’t working for today’s pet parents. With the support of our investors, we believe we are well-positioned to scale Wagmo and are very excited about the opportunities ahead.”
Horvath became passionate about starting Wagmo during her second year at Harvard Business School, after caring for her terminally-ill dog, Denver. Beyond the medical bills specific to Denver’s condition, Horvath noticed that the majority of her spend was on the routine care Denver needed to simply stay healthy. Horvath scoured the internet for an insurance provider that would cover the recurring costs that were adding up and, when there was nothing on the market, she knew she needed to tackle wellness first.
“Wagmo’s oversubscribed round is a testament to our belief that the company has the right team with critical insurance industry expertise, a unique distribution model, and a solid strategy to succeed,” said Jarrid Tingle, Managing Partner at Harlem Capital. “As a firm committed to investing in diverse founders, we believe Wagmo’s top-notch female founders are uniquely positioned to build a better pet wellness product. Wagmo has tapped into a critical opportunity within the fast-growing pet industry that traditional pet insurance providers have overlooked. We’re excited to see what successes are in store for them in 2020 and beyond.”
More than two-thirds of households in the United States have a pet, according to the American Pet Products Association. Pet parents spend over $72 billion per year to keep their pets healthy and happy, yet, based on approximate dollar amounts, traditional pet insurance only covers ~52% of pets’ basic wellness costs. As more and more families bring pets into their homes, Wagmo is enhancing the quality of care accessible to them.
“Successful companies are built on the passion and drive of their founders – two characteristics we found in abundance with Christie Horvath and Ali Foxworth at Wagmo,” added Mark Casady, Founder and General Partner at Vestigo Ventures. “Their desire to help pet owners find peace of mind in pet parenthood using innovative ways to reach and serve them is undeniable and positions them to disrupt the industry long-term. Given our firm’s orientation towards data-driven insights, we are equally excited by how Wagmo is using data science to improve the wellness and insurance process.”
Headquartered in New York City and backed by Techstars NYC, Wagmo previously raised $1.2 million in pre-seed funding from strategic angels, which it used to develop its wellness product, invest in and test marketing, and scale and strengthen its referral program.
Co-founded in 2017 by Christie Horvath and Ali Foxworth, Wagmo is people-friendly pet care offering simple and accessible wellness-first plans. From routine exams, vaccines and preventative meds, to teeth cleaning and grooming, Wagmo covers the everyday basics to help your furball thrive. Wagmo currently offers three annual membership plans: Basic, Legit, and Extra, starting at $15/month, with no deductibles. Think of Wagmo as comprehensive care for your four (or three-legged) friend. Caring for our pets’ wellbeing today, and every day, is the best way to help them live longer, happier lives. That’s why Wagmo’s mission is to make it easy to keep our pets healthy. We’re hiring! Learn more at www.wagmo.io.
Harlem Capital is an early-stage venture capital firm on a mission to change the face of entrepreneurship by investing in 1,000 diverse founders over the next 20 years. Harlem Capital makes investments of $250,000 to $1 million in Seed and Series A rounds. Learn more at http://harlem.capital/.
Vestigo Ventures is a data-driven venture capital firm that backs early-stage financial technology companies poised to transform the future of the industry. Led by a team with a wealth of experience growing and scaling early-stage companies, Vestigo combines their operational know-how with proprietary algorithms and data insights to inform investment opportunities. The firm empowers its portfolio companies with access to an expansive network of industry leaders, ranging from LPs to regulators, and data-driven insights to enable their portfolio companies to achieve unprecedented growth and success. Headquartered in Cambridge, MA, Vestigo was founded in 2015. Learn more about the firm and its portfolio companies at www.vestigoventures.com.
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