Working from home these past few weeks has been a challenge, particularly when you have two parents who work and three small kids you’re trying to keep on track with school lessons. The one family member who has been very happy with the new routine is our dog. He’s loved the extra attention. Our pets are big business. According to a survey conducted by the American Pet Products Association, 67% of all Americans have a dog. And those dogs – plus, cats, horses, hamsters and other pets – need regular veterinary care. Sam Razor, the co-founder and CEO of Hippo Manager, is helping vets across the country run their practices more efficient and profitably. He is presenting at VisionTech Angels’ Virtual Pitch Event Thursday, April 30 at 6 pm. I hope you enjoy this sneak preview!
BP: Tell me a little about how Hippo Manager and the market problem being solved.
SR: Veterinary practices are often woefully behind in technology – 77% are operating on 15-year-old plus server-based technology, and there are a surprising number still working from paper. They haven’t had the influence from insurance companies to standardize and adopt new technologies like the human medical field. Not only does this gap in technology create inefficiencies, but also causes lost revenue for the practices because services and inventory supplies aren’t captured and billed, and now there’s the added pressure of operating safely during a pandemic.
Hippo Manager is the largest independently-owned, cloud-based, veterinary practice management software provider in the United States. We provide more features than any product on the market including SOAP notes/medical records, patient scheduler, reporting, point-of-sale, inventory, reminders, payment processing, reporting, and more.
BP: What is your value proposition?
SR: Our cloud-based product means that veterinarians and staff can access medical records and files from anywhere and anytime, which has been tremendously helpful for telehealth, but also in normal day-to-day operations by allowing the flexibility to do curbside check-ins and in-exam room checkouts, both of which are is quickly becoming the best standard of care for patient experience.
Hippo Manager is priced in a straightforward way and at a substantially lower price than the total cost of ownership of a server-based options. Hippo Manager is very easy to use, and we also offer unlimited support and unlimited training, which is unique in our industry. We offer this level of service because it’s just good business for our customers to keep their new staff up-to-date on their daily tools. Our practices see 22% growth in revenue year-over-year versus industry growth of 4%. This is attributable to correctly captured charges, time savings, and better reporting to find growth areas.
BP: What’s your revenue model?
SR: We’re a software as a service with addition add-on features creating additional revenue streams.
BP: Who are your competitors?
SR: Our primary competition is server-based legacy systems. Many veterinarians adopted server-based solutions 10 to 20 years ago. Those systems are now obsolete. The companies selling them are not software companies so these systems are not being updated.
BP: What are the barriers to adoption?
SR: Historically, veterinary practices have been slow to adopt technology. Those with antiquated legacy systems aare reluctant to change to a new system because the old systems were so difficult to learn. They want to avoid repeating that experience. While Hippo is very easy to use, it does require upfront training of the vets and their staff. Some of their routines will change, too. People can be resistant to change, especially in busy practices.
To counter this, we have an online learning lab with more than 90 short video tutorials. We also do online training and Q&A sessions to answer questions in real time, and recently launched new coaching services to help veterinarians with the change management challenges that go beyond learning how the software works. Once people start using Hippo and seeing the financial impact on their practice, they don’t want to go back.
BP: What is your traction to date?
SR: Very good! We have 400 practices on the platform, representing 6,000 users. Of these, 85% are small animal practices. The other 15% are large animal practices for horses and other livestock. We’re a godsend for them as they typically see their patients at farms and they can login into our cloud-enabled platform from an ipad in their truck instead of doing hours of paperwork after returning to their office.
BP: How big is this investment round and how do you plan to use the funds?
SR: This is a $750,000 raise. We plan to use it to scale our sales and marketing efforts, including developing channel sales. There will also be some additional product development.
BP: How has the coronavirus pandemic affected your business?
SR: Veterinary clinics are considered essential business so unlike other businesses they remain open and treating patients. However, they’re trying to minimize as much direct contact as possible. Hippo can help with curbside check-in, we allow pet owners to pay by text and email rather than credit card, checks or cash, and we also integrate with telemedicine platforms where people can text in videos of their pet for the vet to determine if the pet needs to come in immediately or at a later time. And, thanks to being a cloud solution, vets can login from home, continue to work, and take calls if needed rather than all staff being in the office. Hippo’s features challenge the status quo of old processes and with the pandemic, people are taking a closer look at our solution.
BP: Why should VisionTech Angels invest in your company?
SR: Three reasons. We’re located in “flyover country” and are a high performing company with a practical valuation. Our business model is proven and with fuel, we believe our growing customer base will take off. Finally, the pandemic has underscored the need for cloud-enabled solutions that enable veterinary practices to stay open, treat their patients, mitigate risks, and lastly, do more of the job remotely.
BP: Last question: do you have a dog?
SR: I do. My family has a rescue dog named George Harrison who appears to be a Corgi-Dachshund mix and two cats. I have never met a dog like George; he’s silly, loves to wrestle, fetch and play. Great dog!
To learn more about Hippo Manager, visit their website. VisionTech Angels’ April 30 Virtual Pitch Event is open to our members and accredited investors interested in joining our group. To reserve your spot, email Ben Pidgeon at firstname.lastname@example.org.