Pet Wellness Company Wagmo Raises $3 Million

By Annie Baker ● December 12, 2019
  • Pet wellness company Wagmo announced that it closed an oversubscribed $3 million seed round co-led by Harlem Capital and Vestigo Ventures.

Wagmo — a pet wellness company covering everyday care for dogs and cats — announced it has closed an oversubscribed $3 million seed round co-led by Harlem Capital and Vestigo Ventures with participation from Female Founders Fund, Clocktower Technology Ventures, and The Fund. And several existing and angel investors representing Flatiron Health, Clover Health, etc. also participated in the round.

With this round of funding, Wagmo is going to further scale its operations, build out its team, and expand its partnership distribution model with pilot pet services and employee perk programs.

Launched by Christie Horvath and Ali Foxworth, Wagmo is helping pet parents get the best care for their dogs and cats with plans that cover the day-to-day essentials, including routine and preventative expenses like annual exams, vaccines, and grooming.

Horvath and Foxworth utilized their insurance expertise and experience as pet owners to create three-tiered membership plans — Basic, Legit, and Extra – starting at $15 per month, effectively priced utilizing the same techniques used by traditional insurance plans. And Wagmo’s plans are designed to deliver immediate, tangible value to customers nationwide by providing reimbursement for the things people already do for keeping their pets healthy and happy.

“We are a scrappy team of pet-obsessed, insurance nerds ready to change the status quo,” said Horvath. “Our pets’ wellness needs change over time and Wagmo is committed to continuously evolving to help pet parents get the best care for their pets. When my dog, Denver, started having debilitating seizures, I was hit with a new and very sincere appreciation for how challenging – and all-consuming – pet parenting can be. By covering the basics, we’re learning more about our customers’ wishes and pain points, and are able to proactively address the tenets of traditional pet insurance that simply aren’t working for today’s pet parents. With the support of our investors, we believe we are well-positioned to scale Wagmo and are very excited about the opportunities ahead.”

Horvath had become passionate about starting Wagmo during her second year at Harvard Business School while caring for her terminally-ill dog Denver. Along with Denver’s high medical bill costs, Horvath noticed that the majority of her spend was on the routine care needed for simply staying healthy.

So Horvath scoured the Internet for an insurance provider that would cover the recurring costs that were adding up. And when there was nothing on the market, Horvath knew that she needed to tackle wellness first.

“Wagmo’s oversubscribed round is a testament to our belief that the company has the right team with critical insurance industry expertise, a unique distribution model, and a solid strategy to succeed,” added Jarrid Tingle, Managing Partner at Harlem Capital. “As a firm committed to investing in diverse founders, we believe Wagmo’s top-notch female founders are uniquely positioned to build a better pet wellness product. Wagmo has tapped into a critical opportunity within the fast-growing pet industry that traditional pet insurance providers have overlooked. We’re excited to see what successes are in store for them in 2020 and beyond.”

Over two-thirds of households in the US have a pet, according to the American Pet Products Association. And pet parents spend over $72 billion per year to keep their pets happy and healthy.

Based on approximate dollar amounts, traditional pet insurance only covers about 52% of pets’ basic wellness costs. And as more and more families bring pets into their homes, Wagmo is enhancing the quality of care accessible to them.

“Successful companies are built on the passion and drive of their founders – two characteristics we found in abundance with Christie Horvath and Ali Foxworth at Wagmo,” explained Vestigo Ventures founder and general partner Mark Casady. “Their desire to help pet owners find peace of mind in pet parenthood using innovative ways to reach and serve them is undeniable and positions them to disrupt the industry long-term. Given our firm’s orientation towards data-driven insights, we are equally excited by how Wagmo is using data science to improve the wellness and insurance process.”

Based in NYC and backed by Techstars NYC, Wagmo also raised $1.2 million in a pre-seed round of funding from strategic angels, which will be used for developing its wellness product, invest in and test marketing, and scale and strengthen its referral program.