Please welcome Small Door, a tech-enabled veterinary practice built on transparency

Meet Small Door, the latest addition to Lerer Hippeau’s portfolio.

HQ: New York City

Cofounders: Josh Guttman and Florent Peyre

The problem: Worth nearly $200 billion, the global pet care market is enormous. But while some areas of the space have kept up with consumer expectations for tech-enabled, seamless experiences, others have fallen behind in terms of innovation. One of the major drivers of the multi-billion dollar pet care industry is traditional veterinary practices, but the market is largely fragmented, costly, and often fails to deliver the customer (and pet) experiences today’s consumers have come to expect.

Small Door’s solution: Small Door is reimagining veterinary care by building a tech-driven, consumer-centric brand focused on providing unparalleled care that’s both convenient and cost effective for pet owners. Small Door offers a membership model, a mobile app, and 24/7 access to its medical team. The custom-built first location, which will be powered by proprietary software, opens next fall in Greenwich Village.

Origin story: When Josh Guttman’s boxer Morris fell ill, he sought out treatment from several neighborhood veterinarians, but quickly grew frustrated by the lack of transparency, inconsistent quality of care, and poor customer experience. He and Florent Peyre researched the category and saw an opportunity to build a better solution for today’s “pet parents.” Small Door was founded in 2017 by Josh, formerly a Partner at Softbank, and Florent, who founded Placemeter (acquired by Netgear), to solve this common pain point in pet care. The team also includes Nicole Antonacchio from Soulcycle and WeWork, who heads up experience, and advisors Tom Lee from One Medical Group and Richard Park from CityMD.

Why we’re betting on it: The still-fragmented veterinary space is starting to be consolidated by large rollups and private equity, but hasn’t yet adopted now-standard practices and a high bar for care. Current incumbents lack transparent pricing and often offer poor user experiences. Florent shares, “We believe the best way to create a brand that stands for excellence in both medical care and customer service is to do it de novo.” Small Door is also a Public Benefit Corp with the animals they treat and vets they employ key stakeholders.

Our take: New pet owners are adding fuel to the expanding market through their willingness to spend on innovative products and best-in-class services. Businesses catering to pet parents are uniquely positioned to tap into the growing number of individuals who have money to spend on their pets — those who don’t have kids and who are empty nesters. As investors in Ollie, the Dodo, BarkBox, One Health, and most recently Fi, we believe Small Door will fill the need for a high-quality, full-stack solution for veterinary care.

Further reading: For the Dogs” via Axios Pro Rata

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