Photo: Petleo

Petleo: The digital patient file for animals

The Munich-based startup Petleo connects pet owners, vets and other service providers on its pet health platform. CEO Julian Weritz explains in this interview why the animal health market urgently needs to be digitalized, what functions the platform offers and what all this has to do with a highway.

Munich Startup: What does Petleo do? What problem do you solve?

Julian Weritz, Petleo: Petleo is dedicated to the digitalization of veterinary practices and other service providers for pets, such as veterinary physios, groomers, nutritionists, alternative practitioners and dog schools. Our pet health platform connects vets and pet care service providers with pet owners through practical tools such as online appointment booking, the electronic pet health record or fully digital new customer registrations in order to relieve the burden on providers and ensure transparency for owners along the entire value chain.

We are convinced that modern veterinary care requires more than just a visit to the clinic. We improve efficiency, make it easier for pet owners to book services and ensure that all pets receive timely and thorough treatment instead of having to deal with time-consuming administrative tasks.

Munich Startup: But that’s nothing out of the box!

Julian Weritz: There arealready digital solutions, but what sets Petleo apart from others is our connectivity. Petleo integrates seamlessly into existing systems and promotes the digital exchange of data between the various players. The digitalization of these complex processes has many advantages: Pet owners used to come home from vet appointments with a lot of printed notes, CD-ROMs or handwritten notes. Today, thanks to the Petleo platform, the entire health record is structured and available on the cell phone with just one click – and in a matter of seconds. Automatic reminders for follow-up appointments and vaccination routines also help to ensure that no appointments are forgotten. And best of all, you can also share the results with family and friends. So everyone knows immediately how your beloved furry friend is doing.

In addition, our mix of expertise in the team is unique. Not only do we have a veterinarian as a co-founder who knows the intricacies and needs of the profession, but we also have professionals who have extensive experience in the e-health space, particularly in human medicine. This combination gives us a huge advantage in creating a customized, intuitive and effective platform.

Making knowledge about your own pet visible and usable

Munich Startup: What’s your founding story?

Julian Weritz: We recognized the gaps in communication between vets and pet owners as well as the digital backlog in the German veterinary sector. There was no comprehensive system that could collect and digitally manage all the information about your pet. This gave rise to the vision of an app that addresses the many pitfalls and challenges faced by pet owners and makes knowledge about their pets visible and usable for pet owners.

The digital application was then expanded to include B2B features and brought into the everyday life of clinics and practices. Our seamless interfaces play a particularly important role here: Petleo integrates into the veterinarians’ existing practice management systems without interfering with internal processes or current systems or requiring a complete system changeover.

Munich Startup: What have been your biggest challenges so far?

Julian Weritz: Our biggest challenge was to prove ourselves as a young team. We also had to do a lot of convincing regarding the digitalization of old-fashioned systems. We built a bridge between the old system worlds on the practitioner side and our modern app.

To illustrate this lengthy process, we like to describe this challenge with a metaphor: we are the data highway that ensures that cars (tier data sets) and trucks (service providers) can travel quickly and easily on our expanded route. After initial test drives and repairs to the road surface, we managed to earn a lot of money from tolls (B2B subscriptions) around six months after the company was founded.

We are now the market leader in the DACH region and Luxembourg for digital pet health and, in addition to the important stakeholders in the B2B market, we have also been able to build up a great team of 20 people and win them over to our vision.

Petleo is set to develop into an all-in-one solution

Munich Startup: Where would you like to be in a year, where would you like to be in five years?

Julian Weritz: In a year’s time, we want to be the leading online booking platform in the DACH region and have completed our first rollouts in other European countries. We are also working intensively on further features to digitalize processes, such as a digital health record and AI-supported evaluation and forecasting of animal data. In addition, Petleo will continue to develop into an all-in-one solution and will also enable payments and asynchronous communication between practitioners and pet owners in the future.

In five years, we want to have digitized all relevant processes within the value chain and be the leading platform for pet health throughout Europe.

Munich Startup: How have you experienced Munich as a startup location so far?

Julian Weritz: For us personally, Munich is the new Berlin. With its vibrant tech scene, we have found both qualified talent and valuable partners here. We regularly take part in the BayStartup events, were part of the Insurtech Hub Munich batch, were able to exchange ideas with many other startups and have big players such as Zooplus and Evidensia within walking distance. We also have great investors from the greater Munich area on board, such as Markus Reichenberger, Katja Lindo, Ulrich Müller-Menrad, Georg Hofer and Patrick Palacin.

Munich Startup: Quick exit or staying power?

Julian Weritz: Our vision for Petleo is not a quick exit. We are determined to actively shape and revolutionize the pet care of tomorrow. We are always open to strategic partnerships that can accelerate our mission, because our main focus is on long-term impact. Petleo is planned from the beginning as an open platform to enable all parties from the pet ecosystem to create mutual added value through the use of structured data. Our main target groups include vets and service providers such as physiotherapists, pet groomers and, of course, pet owners themselves. We also serve other cooperation partners such as animal health insurers and the animal pharmaceutical industry and are already working on collaborations with laboratories and research institutes.

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