British subscription-based pet wellbeing firm, ITCH, has secured £7.25m in early stage investment, paving the way for it to expand into the £4.5bn global pet insurance market.
In a round led by YYX Capital, the personalised direct-to-consumer pet care service raised the cash injection from Accel Partners and Seedcamp, taking the total investment to £12.25m.
On a mission to energise and inject personality into the staid flea prevention market, ITCH launched in July 2019 with a monthly flea and worming home delivery service.
Headquartered in Leeds, the direct to consumer business founded by pet industry entrepreneurs Jonny and Adam Gould [Monster Pet Supplies] and James Cox (YYX Capital) will use the funding to launch in the US, expand into the pet insurance sector and fuel further development of its data platform so it is best placed to serve pets and their owners.
With global pet insurance industry revenues poised to surpass USD 10 billion / GBP 7.6bn by 2025 (Global Market Insights, Inc.) and the UK industry alone set to reach USD 1.8bn / GBP 1.4bn by 2025, ITCH believes it’s primed to take a sizeable bite out of the market.
Co-founder & Chairman ITCHpet.com James Cox said, “Offering pet owners direct access to the best personalised treatment products for their pets is proving a winning formula.
“Our latest investment combined with the current rate of growth and onboarding of a new management team will accelerate our position on home soil; and a expected funding round later this year or early next will enable us to expand into the US and beyond”.
With ambitious plans to launch in the US and beyond from Q1 2021, ITCH appointed Andrew Pinnington in April 2020 to take on the role of Chief Executive Officer.
Former CEO of Europe’s largest ride-hailing app mytaxi (merged with Hailo), Pinnington grew the business from a local player in Germany to the European leader in ride hailing services through strategic acquisitions and dynamic growth.
Pinnington headed up mytaxi and Hailo for 3.5 years from 2014, during which time he turned the business around from a low base, and subsequently exited a majority interest to BMW (& Daimler) in 2018.
Prior to this, he spent 12 years at Carphone Warehouse, transitioning through a variety of roles, ultimately culminating in the position of Chief Operating Officer.
Carlos Eduardo Espinal, Managing Partner, Seedcamp said: “To date, pet owners have been left underserved, with few companies demonstrating a genuine care for pets that matches the owners.
“We backed the ITCH team because of their passion for making products that transform the experience for pet owners, buying into their proven historical track records in the sector and wider D2C arena”.
Developed in collaboration with world-class veterinary experts in response to the increasing demand for more bespoke pet care, ITCH now ships to over 110,000 pets per month across the UK.
With a monthly customer growth rate of 10-20%, the pet wellbeing firm is on track to reach circ. £10m+ in annual recurring by year end 2020. Paired with strong unit economics, sales are projected to exceed circ. £50m next year and £200m+ in the coming 3 years.
Offering a quicker, cheaper and more convenient alternative for preventing flea infestations, worming issues and generally providing preventive care for pets, the platform also provides calming treats and skin, joint and dental product add-ons.
With ITCH, busy pet owners never need worry about forgetting to protect their pet again. Receiving tailored subscription treatment kit for their pets, through their letter box at a fraction of the cost of vet channel treatment.
Via the ITCH app, pet owners are sent a reminder when it’s time to administer treatment. The right dose, at the right time, delivered directly to their door every month.