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Vet-AI has been described as the ‘Babylon Health for pets’.

The Leeds-based startup is on a mission to make pet care more accessible and affordable for all pet owners around the world through its ground-breaking technology.

Its AI app Joii provides customers with access to vets 24/7, 365 days of the year, allowing ‘pet parents’ to diagnose and receive recommended treatment for pets from the comfort of their home.

Described as a ‘virtual veterinary clinic’ it also eases some of the burden off the veterinary practices and includes a free symptom checker, paid, in-app video calls with veterinarians and free vet nurse calls.

Earlier this week’s Vet-AI announced it had secured a multi-million pound investment from US pet food company Hill’s Pet Nutrition and Correlation One Holdings.

The latest raise brings the total investment raised since 2019 to £12.6m and will enable the business to further scale-up its operations.

Vet-AI COO Matt Elcock, Vet-AI co-founder Paul Hallett, Vet-AI co-founder Dr Sarah Warren, Director of Professional and Veterinary Affairs at Hill’s Pet Nutrition Dr Hein Meyer, Vet-AI co-founder Dr Robert Dawson and Vice President and General Manager at Hill’s Pet Nutrition Alain Semeneri.

Vet-AI was founded in 2017 by entrepreneur Paul Hallett in partnership with veterinary surgeons Dr Robert Dawson and Dr Sarah Warren. Today more than 200,000 pets use the platform.

Hallett’s early career saw him developing next-generation technology products for human healthcare companies, working alongside key people like Ash Patel (ex-Babylon Health) and Rich Mills (ex-Google).

He told TechBlast: “We are an animal health company on a mission to protect the welfare of pets and also the welfare of vets.”

Hallett and his co-founders launched Vet-AI after their research identified a sector that was ripe for disruption through technology.

Vet-AI takes investment to £12.6m with new raise

“The deeper I dug into it the more I realised there was a desperate need for solutions,” he recalled.

The award-winning entrepreneur said the veterinary profession is under huge amounts of pressure.

“It was posted in 2021 that it was the hardest job to fill in the country,” he said. “Vets are leaving the profession, even newly qualified vets. It’s in need of change.”

The startup has now raised £12.6m and Hallett admitted raising seed funding was particularly tough.

“It’s a very difficult process,” he said. “At seed level it’s even harder. We found it a lot easier this time.

“I think we’ll be a global business. Our tech is completely scalable. If you take the symptom checker for example that can be deployed in any part of the world.”

Leeds Tech Climbers

Vet-AI was recently included in the inaugural Leeds City Region Tech Climbers list and Hallett said Leeds was the perfect place to base and run a business.

“There’s a strange almost organic algorithm in Leeds of people who support each other,” he said. “There’s a lot of goodwill.”

  • Paul Hallett has been chosen as the latest winner of TechBlast’s Star of the Week alongside his co-founders Dr Robert Dawson and Dr Sarah Warren. It’s given to the entrepreneur or entrepreneurs who have most impressed TechBlast in the previous seven days. At the end of the year we’ll  publish the full list of 50 names. To nominate someone email [email protected]