by Michel Raphael his career took him through many industries and iterations before landing on a technology-based planning platform IndiaVet.
Before launching the startup that now offers a platform for animal hospital staffing, Raphael worked as a journalist, then at a dot-com-era startup, and as an intern and eventual CEO of a corporation. private equity before entering the veterinary space.
The company founded in 2017 was born from Raphaël’s experience with Community Veterinary Partners, a network of veterinary hospitals which, like many other healthcare centres, had difficulty recruiting enough veterinarians. The poor work-life balance and long working hours of many veterinarians have made it difficult to maintain full schedules and sufficient numbers of vets at each hospital, he said.
That year, Raphael launched IndeVets, which lets vets themselves choose how and where they want to work. There were options for technology-enabled staffing solutions, the founder said, but few gave the worker control over their schedule. When the company was first launched, the planning was done by an operations manager, a complicated spreadsheet and numerous phone calls. About six months later, the non-technical founder knew something had to change.
They hired a development team to build their technology platform, the Centralized Appointment Tracking System (CATS) – and yes, that acronym was very useful. It was the company’s biggest capital expenditure up to that point, but one that proved transformative for the company, Raphael said.
“I think that’s the path that so many entrepreneurs find themselves on: they have an idea, they realize they have to become technologists to execute it.”
“Technology was something that I never really thought would be critical to the business. I knew vets needed more flexibility, and we kind of ended up being this tech business,” he said. he said “I think that’s the path that so many entrepreneurs take: they have an idea, they realize they have to become technologists to execute it. It was a really eye-opening experience, it was very nice to see how it works.
Now veterinarians can register as W2 employees with IndeVets, access benefits and continuing education, and choose their working hours. That compares to many who work as 1099 contractors, Raphael said, but with more security and clarity over their hours. The company says it now works with a network of 1,700 hospitals in 43 markets, mostly on the East Coast. It has around 150 staff – including 25 members at IndeVets headquarters based at 10th and Spring Garden Streets – and 125 veterinarians.
In November, the company took a growth capital investment to accelerate certain aspects of the business. Capital, an investment of New port capital, will allow the company to increase its marketing efforts, attract more vets and “invest in its head office team.” (The amount of funding was not disclosed.)
Although they use the office on a hybrid schedule, the team is open to remote applicants, Raphael said, as they plan to add 25 more employees this year. Current plans are to add roles at all levels, but particularly to its technical team – another full-stack engineer, and a vice president of engineering and a designer of front-end engineers are likely to come. .
For Raphael, moving development in-house was a signal of the company’s growth, especially entering the company without the initial focus on technology.
“It was a huge change for us,” he said. “We went from a place where we knew nothing about it to growing the business around it.”