A little over two years ago, I had a conversation with my Lyft driver (also named Lisa!) who happened to be a veterinary technician in Houston. At the time, I could only tell her about our vision at Roo to create the first labor marketplace in animal healthcare, connecting animal hospitals with vet professionals, allowing people like Lisa to pick and choose vet tech shifts with greater flexibility. Lisa couldn’t wait to use it.
Fast-forward to today, it feels amazing that my team and I have been able to deliver on that solution for Lyft Lisa and so many other veterinary professionals. We’ve moved full steam ahead, now operating throughout Texas and recently launching in Southern California. We’ve introduced Roo to thousands of new users, advanced our platform to secure thousands of shifts seamlessly each month, and helped hospitals produce millions of dollars by finding relief talent more efficiently.
Despite the challenge that COVID presented, we’re amazed that we’re growing so fast: +215% Q1 2021 vs. Q1 2020. Demand for pets increased during the pandemic, and it was our duty to elevate support on the service side with hospitals, vets, and techs.
But among all our accomplishments, what gives me that warm, fuzzy feeling is seeing the new and better ways of working our vet professionals have now. We see…
• The mom vet who was about leave the labor force, but has stayed in it now that Roo is giving her the option to pick & choose 2-3 shelter wellness shifts each week as she spends more time with her first child.
• The vet in his 80s who had once retired, but now happily does 5-10 shifts a month.
• The vet who’s traveling throughout TX or CA and picking up work along the fun, nomadic journey.
• And the vet tech who can now simply earn extra income and reduce burn out.
Roo’s platform is successfully providing relief, support, and community. I’m incredibly proud of our diverse global team with backgrounds in animal healthcare, marketplaces, “Silicon Valley” tech, and creative vendors – all of whom have made these early milestones happen.
But this is just the beginning.
So much has happened in only a few cities thus far, and there are clearly a lot more expansion opportunities. It’s also amazing to see that over 15% of our users who have signed up are outside our markets, essentially waiting for us to launch in their regions!
With our clear product validation, 2020 success, and ongoing growth, we’ve proactively decided to take on new investment funding to accelerate user growth in existing and new markets, enhance product features, and continue hiring great resources. All these actions will help Roo’s marketplace grow fast and positively impact more hospitals and professionals at greater scale.
With that, we’re excited to announce we just closed a seed funding round led by Floodgate Fund with other investment partners participating. I’m incredibly excited to work with the well-respected Ann Miura-Ko, one of Floodgate’s co-founding partners who has tremendous experience working with successful startups. Our investor partners also have significant experience in marketplaces, product scalability, entrepreneurship, talent tech, and animal health. This mix will certainly provide us a well-rounded variety of strategic guidance, strong network, and overall support for faster growth.
Given this additional support, we can’t wait to spread the Roo joy across the animal healthcare industry and positively impact more professionals. Stay tuned for more milestones that we’ll continue to share. In the meantime, happy Roo-ing!