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PetPal targets wider reach in Southeast Asia

PET TELEHEALTH platform PetPal is planning to boost its presence in the Philippines and Southeast Asia pet care markets amid increasing demand, its creator said.

In a statement on Monday, 917Ventures noted a surging need for veterinary services as the value of the region’s pet care market is expected to reach $3.08 billion by 2032 from $1.6 billion in 2022.

917Ventures, a corporate venture builder wholly owned by listed telco Globe Telecom, Inc., created PetPal to address the market gap for veterinary care options.

According to 917Ventures, 79% of the Philippine population own a pet, making it among the highest in Asia and prompting a need for more veterinary care options.

“With the surge in pet ownership, many struggle to find affordable, convenient veterinary care options for their beloved animals with just one vet available for every 10,000 pet owners in the country,” 917Ventures said.

917Ventures Managing Director Vince Dominic Yamat said PetPal and pet telehealth services are “transformative solutions” that cater to the demands of modern pet owners. It also aims to change how veterinary care is accessed and administered.

“By offering a platform, PetPal enables veterinary practitioners to reach a wider audience, deliver crucial services to more pet owners and their pets, and advocate for responsible pet ownership. Additionally, PetPal can also foster economic growth by stimulating demand and therefore creating new revenue streams and potentially generating jobs within the pet service sector,” Mr. Yamat said.

Meanwhile, 917Ventures said PetPal recently started to offer at-home grooming services, home vet visits, lab tests, and vaccinations. The platform also plans to introduce an online pharmacy and marketplace for other pet-related goods, supplies, and other services.

It added that a mobile app version of its PetPal Club subscription is projected to launch later in 2023. The subscription offers unlimited teleconsultations for up to two pets annually, as well as discounts on pet services.

“PetPal addresses a gap in the pet care market for convenient, accessible, and cost-effective healthcare services for pets,” 917Ventures Senior Venture Builder Jose Carlo C. Flordeliza said.

He said the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals found that a significant number of pets “rarely see a veterinarian due to their owners facing substantial challenges such as cost issues and unavailability of veterinarians.”

“These barriers can lead pet owners to delay or skip veterinary treatments, or even abandon their pets. Affordable telehealth services like PetPal can address this while also helping pet owners avoid additional expenses related to transportation, travel time, or missed work,” he added.

Launched in February, PetPal has since expanded to more than 200 clinics and 1,000 veterinarians on the platform. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave

Neil Banzuelo

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