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pets at home

Gone are the days when dogs and cats were restricted to just the front yards of the home. The rise in urbanisation and pet-parents tribe has propelled startups in the pet sector to come up with different services and products to meet the need of pets.

In this regard, UK’s Pets at Home Group, which owns the Pets at Home retail store brand and local veterinary service Vets4Pets, has recently announced that it has acquired Surrey-based telehealth provider The Vet Connection (TVC). The acquisition took plan in cash consideration of £15 million.

The popular pet retail brand acquired the UK’s largest independent telephone vet businesses as Covid restrictions make it harder for pet owners to travel to surgeries. Reportedly, the company will use its cash reserves to buy The Vet Connection (TVC), which said it carries out 90,000 remote consultations each year.

Peter Pritchard, Group Chief Executive Officer, commented: “The acquisition of TVC marks an important next step in the development of our digital capabilities providing trusted advice and even more convenient pet care services.

“We have followed their business for a number of years and know Jamie Moodie, Nick Irvine, Rob Mitchell and the TVC team well, and look forward to working with their current partners and supporting the continued development of their service.

“We recognise TVC’s exceptional telehealth capabilities and excellent service levels, as well as the opportunities arising from the scalability of their clinical protocols and proprietary telehealth platform, and look forward to incorporating their capabilities into our existing customer offer – across product, services and subscriptions – to enhance the overall customer experience, and help drive customer acquisition, retention and lifetime value.

“TVC is a “win-win” solution for our customers, colleagues and JVPs, providing 24/7 access to trusted advice from the comfort of home with increased flexibility around veterinary work-life balance.”

Founded in 2002, TVC provides on demand veterinary telehealth advice, triage and ancillary services to a wide range of customers and their pets. Using their experienced in-house veterinary team, TVC already conducts around 90,000 remote consultations each year. In the year to April 2020, TVC achieved adjusted pre-tax profits of £700,000.

The sector is thought to be worth £1 billion a year and is set to increase following a boom in pet ownership during the pandemic.

Earlier this month, Mr Pritchard said the company had seen a “baby boom” in new owners, helping sales rise 5.1% in the six months to October 8.