Pets are Family: Our investment in Lassie
Felix Capital leads Lassie’s Series A round to accelerate growth of the world’s first preventive pet insurance
At Felix, we are on a mission to back brands and platforms that shape our culture and have a positive impact on our world — on the human race, on our environment, but also our furry friends. We are a team of pet lovers that strive to provide the best care to our dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters, and more! We see pets as an important part of our family, and have been on the quest to find products and services that give our beloved pets the best possible lives.
Our deep-dive into human health led to investments in Unmind, Peppy, Peloton, Urban and Manual — platforms that empower individuals to take the best care of themselves physically and mentally, through a combination of products, content, community, clinical support and expert coaching. We followed a similar journey when it comes to pet health. Over the past years, we’ve explored many areas within pet wellness — pet food, products, services, healthcare. When we first met the Lassie team, we instantly connected and were convinced by their mission to build a pet insurance and health platform that helps our furry friends lead better, happier, healthier lives.
Pets as part of the family
Fortunately for us, we’re not alone in this quest. Over the past decade, we’ve seen a shift in the pet market and pet care attitude. Undoubtedly, our furry friends are often a source of comfort and belonging in our daily lives, and this explains an unsurprising phenomenon that took place over the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, the growth rate of the cat and dog population in Europe doubled vs. the year before, reaching a whopping 200 million — that’s the population of Germany, France and UK combined!
We’ve seen a demographic shift in pet owners too, with Gen Z and Millennials now making up 70% of pet parents. This leads to a change in pet spending habits: Gen Z and Millennial pet parents spend significantly more on their pets per annum, almost double their Gen X counterparts and many see them as children. About 40% of Gen Z pet owners buy birthday presents or cakes for their pets, and over 30% buy Christmas or holiday presents — pets really are a part of the family!
Pet health, following human health
With the recent boom in pets, a boom in the need for veterinary care follows — in fact, the overall pet spend market is now estimated to be well over $100bn, and projected to grow to $275bn by 2030. Vets were already struggling to meet pre-pandemic demand, and 2020’s record pet adoptions drove lead times and costs for veterinary care through the roof. When accidents happen, pet parents can face vet bills of up to $5,000 or more, leaving many with no choice but to resort to platforms like GoFundMe to fund their vet bills.
Even though large, unexpected vet bills can be devastating, actually, up to 40% of the pet health problems treated at vet clinics are due to issues that could have been preventable or managed at home, such as digestion, ear infections, ticks & fleas, and weight management! Through better prevention, we can alleviate the stress has on the vets’ availability. With pet insurance, we can reduce pet parent’s anxiety of being unable to afford care for their family members.
Introducing Lassie, the world’s first preventative pet insurance and health platform
Lassie was born to help tackle this problem. Founded in 2020 in Stockholm by Hedda Båverud Olsson, Sophie Wilkinson and Johan Jonsson, Lassie is a pet insurance and health platform. All three co-founders grew up amongst animals and saw first hand how many pet health issues can be prevented with better education — Hedda’s mother was an experienced veterinarian and Sophie previously led pet insurance at If (one of Sweden’s largest insurers).
Lassie has the vision to “reinvent pet health at scale” by offering best-in-class pet insurance coverage, and combining prevention and education through an engaging customer app (and uniquely in insurance — it’s actually used by over 80% of their customers!). In the app, pet parents are able to purchase policies, make claims, browse content created by vets, document their pets’ weight, and receive reward points upon completing educational pet care programs and courses. The reward points then allow pet parents to receive a discount on their annual insurance premium amount, rewarding preventative pet care and helping nurture healthier pets!
A team on a mission
At Felix, we are obsessed with founders that are building a brand and community, supported by stellar product offerings. In a category like healthcare, where trust and credibility are indispensable, a strong reputation and brand is even more paramount.
When we first met Lassie, we were immediately intrigued by their name, as they remind us of the heroic, supportive Rough Collie many of us remember from our childhood! We are thrilled to welcome Lassie (Hedda, Sophie, Johan and Louie) to the Felix Family. Together, we can’t wait to bring more pets and pet parents around the world health, joy and happiness.