Any pet owner will be able to confirm it – our pets become part of our family and their health is just as important as the owners. Increasingly, people are becoming pet parents and are prepared to invest in all aspects of their pet’s care – from how they are fed, to insurance, to toys and beyond. It’s meant that a new area of innovation has sprung up – PetTech.
PetTech startup Lassie is one of the pioneers in the European pet health insurance market. The Stockholm-based team recently secured €11 million in a round led by Felix Capital with participation from existing investors Inventure and Passion Capital among prominent angels such as Josefin Landgård (co-founder KRY & Mantle), Fredrik & Caroline Hjelm (VOI siblings) and Karl-Johan Persson (Chair H&M).
During the days of lockdown and pandemic, more homes welcomed fur-babies into the family and pet adoptions surged across the continent – this resulted in a follow-on peak in activity in pet health. It’s now estimated that 7/10 of pet owners (according to Lassie’s research) take their pet’s physical and mental health more seriously than their own. Lassie wants to contribute to this – by offering pet insurance that focuses on helping pet parents keep their beloved pets healthy. The aim is to reduce vet costs and prevent problems or injuries from happening in the first place. It’s estimated that 40% of pet health issues are preventable!
Founded in 2020 by Hedda Båverud Olsson and Sophie Wilkinson alongside Johan Jönsson, Lassie made it onto our list of female-founded startups to watch this year, thanks to its unique approach to pet insurance. Through the app, owners can attend training on how to prevent common injuries and pet health courses. Doing so rewards users with a lower insurance premium.
Since 80% of all of its insurance customers use the app and more than half have completed educational courses, Lassie has already established a large database on pet health, enabling the company to make market-leading discoveries about preventive health. Lassie has also launched Tass Fund, which distributes pet insurance to people who cannot afford to insure their pets.
Since launch just last year, the insurance providers now have over 10k customers – helping avoid preventable pet problems. This freshly fetched funding will be used to scale the business beyond Sweden as well as strengthen its product and tech development.
Lassie co-founder and CEO Hedda Båverud Olsson, commented: “After some amazing first months we are grateful for the feedback from customers and it’s clear how much they want a service like Lassie. 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. For this internationalisation push, it’s great to add Felix to our team given their strong track record of scaling great consumer products and brands.”
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. We are thrilled to partner with the Lassie team to build the leading digital pet insurer and health platform of choice for modern pet parents. Lassie showcases the attributes of companies we love to back – a passionate and experienced founding team with exceptional founder-market fit, truly differentiated product with a distinctive brand, and the opportunity to really become the central pet care platform in a huge and growing market.”