NEW YORK, Jan. 7, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Hello Ralphie, the veterinary telemedicine startup, has announced the closing of its $1M seed round of funding through primary investments from HearstLab and WPMC Fund.
Founded in 2019 by CEO Felicity Johnson, Hello Ralphie connects pet parents with licensed veterinarians through chat and video appointments to offer a convenient approach to quality pet care nationwide. Since March, Hello Ralphie has seen over 800% growth in users, propelled in large part by the accelerated adoption of telehealth and telemedicine services. The closing of this initial round of funding will allow Hello Ralphie to focus on software and technology expansion as well as key hires in business development and customer experience.
"Hello Ralphie has a strong consumer-first focus and is well-positioned to engage pet parents and benefit from the growth in telemedicine," said HearstLab Chairwoman Eve Burton. "Launching at the height of COVID-19, Felicity has quickly demonstrated incredible tenacity in signing unique partnerships. We are delighted to invest in Hello Ralphie and look forward to welcoming Felicity and her team to HearstLab, leveraging our expertise in marketplaces, consumer marketing, and veterinary health."
"We're thrilled to be the first institutional VC investment into Hello Ralphie. The investment shines in our core criteria— a dynamic founding team, strong founder-market fit, and a clear value creation synergy early in the company's lifecycle. We're grateful to work with a scrappy, well-principled team who's attacking a blossoming market that they couldn't be more passionate about. Hello Ralphie has a great chance to become the market leader, and we couldn't be more excited to help them get there," explained Sam Ellis, managing partner of WPMC fund.
"It is amazing to have the confidence and commitment from our investors as we work to innovate the way in which veterinary care is delivered," said Johnson. "With closing our seed round, we can focus on improving the Hello Ralphie experience for pets and their parents and create an environment where veterinarians can offer exemplary care in a socially distant manner. As our platform evolves, we know we can count on the knowledge and network of our investors to optimally scale and continue delivering quality pet care from anywhere."
Johnson, a former iOS Developer at Rent the Runway, went to Wharton with the idea of starting Hello Ralphie (formerly My Virtual Vet) to address the headache of bringing a pet to an in-person visit for routine veterinary care. "We've found that many appointments, from chronic conditions to general follow-ups can be accommodated via an online vet. Hello Ralphie offers the ability to find a vet who fits a pet parent's specific needs, at a fraction of the cost of a routine or emergency visit. You can finally access quality veterinary care from the comfort of your home, or wherever is most convenient for you and your pet."
HearstLab provides cash investment and services to early-stage, women-led startups innovating across fintech, data analytics, health, transportation, enterprise technology and media. Its mission is to close the gap in VC funding for women by helping founders build sustainable and highly scalable businesses. With access to Hearst resources across 360+ businesses, HearstLab's breadth of services includes assistance with privacy and security, legal services, branding and marketing support. Portfolio companies also benefit from the guidance and support of HearstLab Scouts, women leaders across Hearst who share their networks and expertise. HearstLab has a full-time dedicated team assisting with UI/UX, DevOps engineering, data security, data science, business development and recruiting. HearstLab is owned by Hearst Corporation. To learn more about HearstLab, visit HearstLab.com and connect with us on LinkedIn.
About WPMC Fund
WPMC is a first-check venture fund that believes in the benefit of solid leadership (primarily from the West Point network) in early stage SaaS companies. While we don't believe that investing in a certain group of people in the software space constitutes a strategy, we do firmly believe that pairing our value creation competitive advantages with the right inputs is a formula for success. We love putting our experience building software companies to the test as we fight alongside our founders in the trenches helping with everything from software engineering to back office orchestration.
Learn more about Hello Ralphie and "Find a Vet Who Fits You Best" at helloralphie.com.
SOURCE Hello Ralphie