Roo Closes $11M to Transform the Veterinary Industry

Samantha Santos
December 1, 2022

At Roo, we’re proud to provide veterinary professionals with the first-ever veterinary relief services platform of its kind. Our commitment to improving the veterinary profession extends into everything we do, and that’s why we’re thrilled to make an exciting announcement!

We recently closed $11M in Series A funding, which will be fundamental in Roo’s expansion and growth as we continue to transform the future of work in the veterinary industry.

What are these initiatives, you may ask? Here’s why you should be excited, too:

Transforming veterinary relief services

The veterinary field is no stranger to issues like stress, burnout, understaffing, and more. In fact, industry attrition and understaffing are both factors that can exacerbate burnout and stress in veterinary staff in an all-too-familiar cycle with 92% of vets reporting high stress levels. Moreover, 26% of vets self-reported that they’d considered leaving the industry entirely within the next 5 years.

With over 500,000 veterinary professionals and 30,000 hospitals in the U.S. alone, it’s no surprise that the veterinary industry is rapidly growing. However, disproportionate supply and demand, higher rates of pet ownership, and over 55 million unaddressed shifts have led to increased pressure on an already strained workforce.*

Additionally, the new generation of vets is putting pressure on this already broken system. Millennials and Gen Z are spearheading a mass shift to contract work as factors like fair compensation, compassion fatigue, and unreasonable hours become increasingly hot-button issues.

The solution? Roo has made it our mission to tackle these issues from the root, providing staffing, a renewed sense of community, market-level wages, and work-life balance through our unique, relief-based model.

Furthering Roo’s initiatives

In addition to providing a marketplace to connect animal hospitals with locum vets and techs, Roo is focusing on various initiatives to boost morale and combat industry burnout.

Roo's continued growth

It’s our goal to provide relief, mentorship, and support to hospitals and veterinary professionals around the country. In addition to investing more heavily in current markets to better service our users, we are constantly working on enhancing our platform to ensure an even better matching experience for our users and to address staffing needs in each Roo market.

In addition to investing in current markets, Roo’s internal team count has more than doubled in the last year alone, and we plan to continue that trajectory. Our new community initiatives and growing team of dedicated, compassionate, hard-working individuals will only help to further these goals. Ultimately, we look forward to focusing on saturating current markets, accelerating acquisition, and strategically engaging with current users in 2023.

The Roo mobile app

It’s easier to access veterinary locum work now than ever before. Roo’s first-ever veterinary relief mobile app (iPhone / Android) allows vets to search, request, and plan relief jobs, all at the click of a button. It’s important to us that our platform experience is as user-friendly as possible, and our amazing customer support team is available to provide assistance when our users need it.

In addition to the highly-anticipated mobile app release, Roo is investing in a number of innovations to ensure its continued growth. Potential products on the horizon include a renewed focus on telemedicine—both in light of pandemic-related customer needs and also as a part of our commitment to technology and innovation. Offering dynamic pricing, flexible shift times, and other customizable options has made Roo a leader in veterinary relief services.

Roo University

Roo University is Roo’s latest program targeted toward an important cohort of vets—veterinary students. Not only do these newer vets bring Gen Z’s expectations to the table, but they’re also entering into an industry that has a high burnout rate in and of itself.

Our aim is to provide these students with the best possible start to their careers. Foraying into the “real world” is only made more stressful by practices with little training and unrealistic expectations, and up until now, finding "good" externships has been a gamble. Roo University does the behind-the-scenes work, fully vetting hospitals and mentorship opportunities to ensure that students get the hands-on training they need to transition smoothly into their careers.

Enterprise Solutions

Roo’s commitment to its users extends to a number of animal hospitals, including both small private practices and larger corporate chains. Roo is currently focusing on expanding corporate offerings to further help hospital needs and to ensure cohesiveness amongst hospitals existing underneath a larger corporate umbrella. In addition to Roo’s Enterprise solutions, we are focused on a number of talent solutions to help secure staffing needs. This is just one aspect of Roo’s commitment to the veterinary community as a whole!

Community Events and CE

Contract workers, especially those who work independently, may find themselves missing some of the perks of full-time employment, such as journal meetings, team camaraderie, and happy hours after a long day. Roo provides our relief vets and techs with opportunities to attend fun community-building events, like happy hours, bowling, tours of various exotic veterinary facilities, and more.

Beyond our networking-based events, Roo is proud to offer free veterinary CE to veterinary professionals. As a company centered on vets, we understand how important it is to get quality CE! Our lectures are engaging, led by highly qualified speakers, and, most importantly, free.

Lastly, Roo’s Facebook Group for Vets, Roo Relief Vet Forum, is providing relief vets around the US with a place to find community. The group allows vets to ask clinical questions, share interesting cases, discuss journal articles, and find like-minded locum vets.

Growth from the inside out

In addition to our focus on building a strong, cohesive, connected veterinary community, Roo is also looking forward to continuing to grow and innovate from within.

We’re investing in a world-class tech team that will help keep our platform a leader in the industry. In addition to hiring a stronger-than-ever engineering team, Roo is hiring for a number of key positions that will help contribute to Roo’s accelerated growth while providing our existing team members with what they need to be their best, both inside and outside of work.

Roo's next steps

“Roo is the perfect example of a standout labor marketplace. Veterinary clinics and hospitals desperately need to fill shifts. But the magic happens on the supply side—with veterinary professionals,” said Victor Echevarria, Partner, Jackson Square Ventures. “Roo isn’t merely about helping them make money and control their schedule. Full-time vets are under tremendous mental strain, driving burnout and tragically high suicide rates. Roo helps attract and retain more veterinarians to help clinics and hospitals fill the labor gap while retaining and attracting more people to the profession.”

Jackson Square Ventures’ investment in Roo is an investment in our mission to transform the future of our industry. Bringing career opportunities, renewing workers’ sense of belonging and enthusiasm, and providing competitive wages are just some of the ways our veterinary relief services platform will continue benefiting the industry.

Roo has helped thousands of veterinary professionals to reclaim their careers and lives, and we can’t wait to have our users grow alongside us as we forge on.

Thank you!

*Source: Roo Internal Market Analysis, 2022

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