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Canada’s Vetster Enters Online Vet Prescription UK Market: Will it Thrive or Merely Survive?

Quick Summary: Canadian vet telehealth startup named Vetster has announced its entry into the online vet prescription UK market after raising a whopping $30 million.

Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, the startup is very successful in North America, and its recent move to enter the UK market is part of its long-term expansion strategy.

Being a Canadian healthcare IT company, we have been very fascinated by Vetster and thus following its every move since its inception.

We very firmly believe that Vetster will also dominate the UK market with its online vet prescription and vet telehealth services.

However, it will not get an easy playground as some local players have already been standing strong out there.

One such local player is PetsApp which offers vet practice management software equipped with telehealth features.

In such a competitive and lucrative market, assumptions are endless. But one thing is very certain that the UK is the next hotspot for pet care-focused healthcare startups!

Is there a really profitable market in the UK for online vet prescriptions, online vet pharmacy, and other online pet care services?

Definitely yes.

As per the study conducted by the Vetster itself, “UK veterinary clinics (57%) are struggling with the volume of appointments for pets.”

Thus, by providing several pet care services online, vets can serve more pet owners in a given time and earn more revenue – while reducing unnecessary footprints at their clinics.

In addition to this, Google Trends data clearly depicts that a more number of people are getting comfortable with receiving vet prescriptions online.

Over the period of the last 5 years, the trend has either remained constant or been ever-increasing.

Moving on, one of the most popular online vet pharmacies in the UK named, Pet Drugs Online, has estimated web sales worth $25 million – $50 million. (Source)

Another online pet care startup named Hyperdrug has estimated web sales worth $5 million to $10 million. (Source)

These numbers are enough to tell you why investors are pouring money into online vet prescriptions startups.

Vetster entering UK online pet care market: What does it mean to people and existing companies?

Vetster

Credit: Vetster

We have personally used the Vetster app several times and we are pretty impressed with its tech-driven smooth experience.

With just a few clicks on its mobile or web app, you can see a licensed vet. The best thing is that it allows you to select your preferred vet from the list of all available vets.

Not only this but you can select the nearest pet pharmacy from which you would like to get medication delivered directly to your doorstep.

Meaning, with just a single platform, you first receive virtual vet consultations and later medication – without even leaving your home.

This is the biggest value proposition Vetster has which several local pet care startups in the UK are lacking.

They lack a 360-degree approach to online pet care. Because, they are either more focused on online vet prescriptions or online vet pharmacies. They are yet to create a full-fledged experience by merging both of these.

So, if we summarize, Vetster has both superb technology and a service set. Pet owners can leverage this to receive convenient and rapid care for their pets.

However, due to the absence of direct competition, Vetster has an open playground to charge more from UK pet owners.

(For your context, “Vetster appointments start at $50 per call for medical advice and can reach $150 for half an hour of a vet’s time.”)

Seeing Vetster from the perspective of the UK’s local pet care startups, they finally have a solid competitor, giving them a perfect opportunity and reason to finally adopt the 360-degree pet care approach.

UK’s own PetsApp and Canada’s Vetster are a major threat to each other: But there is a catch!

PetsApp

Credit: PetsApp

We did extensive market research of the UK’s pet care startups and one startup that we anticipate can give tough competition to Vetster in the UK is PetsApp.

The technologies at the core of PetsApp are more cutting-edge than Vetster. With merely just a powerful technology stack, PetsApp can give tough competition to Vetster.

However, the major catch here is that PetsApp serves different market segments.

It provides software for vet clinics to let them easily communicate and engage with pet owners. More specifically, it is a vet practice management software.

Due to this, it follows a B2B2C approach. (Here, B1: PetsApp, B2: Vet clinics C1: Pet owners)

Whereas, if we talk about Vetster, it follows a B2C approach. (Here, B1: Vetster with its vet team and C1: pet owners.)

The pricing structure is also different.

PetsApp charges vet clinics on SaaS models.

Whereas, Vetster charges pet owners on a per-visit model.

Additionally, Vetster is more focused on vet telehealth services whereas PetsApp is more focused on a comprehensive ecosystem for easy vet clinic management.

If we connect the dots, Vetster can never be able to replace PetsApp’s vet practice management software as it is neither Vetster’s interest nor its business DNA. (Vetster is a B2C company and it will remain the same for consistent growth.)

However, it is quite possible for PetsApp to replace vetster by launching vet telehealth services separately. Why? Well, they already have an ecosystem in the form of vet practice management software!

Ultimately, anyone can do anything. But at the end of the day, it is a matter of who has a flexible tech stack and internal team structure to adapt faster!

We also play an important role in UK veterinary industry with our vet practice management software

We are a healthcare-focused IT company with only entertaining healthcare IT projects.

We invested our best team and 2 years to build a healthcare software ecosystem that can be customized to address any use case.

And with its no-code capabilities, any workflow of any healthcare setting can be configured for optimum ROI.

The following are its major highlights:

  • It is HIPAA, GDPR-compliant vet practice management software.
  • You can acquire it by paying just a one-time fee. No monthly or yearly fee structure.
  • You receive its usage rights for a lifetime and for an unlimited number of users.
  • It has a multi-user architecture. Meaning, you as a vet clinic owner becomes a master admin. You can add both pet owners and your internal team members. Not only this, but you can also add your vendors and their team members. Each of these users has separate dashboards and usage rights which you can control from your master dashboard.
  • We customize the software as per your requirements and deliver it to you within 45 business days.

The following are some of its actual screen images. (Please note: Final screens might not be the same as we customize the platform for each healthcare entity keeping its custom requirements and workflows in mind.)

Vet practice management software