• The Capital Letter
  • Posts
  • How VEG Revolutionized Veterinary Medicine While Raking in $500M Annually

How VEG Revolutionized Veterinary Medicine While Raking in $500M Annually

Read time: 5 minutes

Good morning! It's Friday, December 15th. Today’s post looks at VEG, a chain of emergency veterinary clinics that generates $500M in revenue annually!


How VEG Revolutionized Veterinary Medicine While Raking in $500M Annually

When the pandemic hit and forced people to spend more time at home, many adopted a furry friend to keep them company— dog-owning households increased from 38% in 2016 to roughly 45% in 2020-22!

With more pets comes an increasing demand for veterinary medicine, leading to higher care costs.

Riding this wave of increased demand is Veterinary Emergency Group, a chain of 24/7 emergency care clinics that generates $500M in revenue each year!

So, What's the Business?

VEG was born from a partnership between equity research analyst David Glattstein and veterinarian David Bessler.

After a decade of working in the investment world, Glattstein was eager to try his hand at entrepreneurship. When looking for industries to innovate, he discovered that the pet industry was experiencing massive growth— expected to hit $493B by 2030. 

As he scoured the industry searching for a partner, he discovered Bessler, a veterinarian who struck out on his own in 2014 to show how emergency care could be done in a better way.

That better way was a client-first approach. In a traditional emergency care clinic, concerned pet owners are left in a lobby with few updates on their animal's condition. VEG switches this up with an open floor plan where owners can stay by their pets' side, even through intensive surgeries. 

This has two main benefits. Financially speaking, there's no need to pay to furnish a waiting room and section off a chunk of the hospital. More importantly, keeping owners close reduces their stress as well as the stress of their pets and, ultimately, the providers. 

Seeing this innovative twist on emergency care, Glattstein emailed Bessler, hoping to team up and expand VEG nationally. With Bessler's understanding of the emergency care business and Glattstein's investment experience, the duo secured an investment from Sequoia Heritage in 2017 to expand the two-clinic practice.

Today, VEG has raised an estimated $150M and opened over 60 hospitals across the U.S. Despite $500M in annual revenue and 3,500 employees, VEG isn't done growing yet and hopes to hit 500 hospitals in the next few years. 

How They Win: 6-Figure Salaries for First-Year Vets

With the rapid increase in pet ownership, America's 32 veterinary schools can't pump out new vets fast enough. However, VEG has had no problems attracting new talent and getting them to stay long-term. 

After vet school, most students participate in a one-year internship that provides more hands-on experience before setting out on their own. However, internships like the one offered by the University of Pennsylvania only pay $28K a year. 

VEG offers recent vet grads a different and more lucrative path. While it's more intensive than a regular internship, the New ER Doctor Program (NERD) lets first-year vets work under a direct mentorship and pays ~150K a year!

And to secure those first-year vets for the long haul, VEG pays them ~$250K a year if they stay on after the NERD program— this is over double the $100K median vet salary. 

With these financial incentives, it's no surprise that more and more vet students are flocking to VEG despite the industry's tight labor market. As a result, VEG is one of the fastest-growing emergency care chains, and its plans for 500 locations are not only feasible but probable. 

Get In Touch

1) Promote Yourself! Get in front of 7,000+ business professionals by sponsoring this newsletter (we ❤️ our sponsors). Just hit reply to this email and say, "Let's partner!"

2) Do You Have An Outlier Business? We want to share your story if you are building something cool and growing fast. Hit reply to this email and tell me - what you're building, why, and why it's an outlier business.

3) Ask Us Questions: Are you struggling with a business or career question? Just ask it, and we'll share it with thousands of people who want to help.