Pet parents don’t have to feel helpless when they have to give their pets medicine, now that Mixlab is around. This modern pet pharmacy schedules same-day or next-day delivery of medicine with a few clicks. The company also has built expertise in compounding allowing them to provide medicine that is customized and tailored to your pet’s preferences. Medications are easy for pets to consume by adding flavoring (e.g. beef, bacon, or marshmallow), adapting dosages depending on the size of the animal, and transforming pills into various forms (treats, liquids, gels, etc). Mixlab’s mission is to make pill time stress free for dogs and pet parents.
AlleyWatch spoke with founder and CEO Fred Dijols about creating the pharmacy that every pet parent loves, the company’s future plans, and recent round of funding.
Who were your investors and how much did you raise?
We closed a $8.5M Seed round led by Global Founders Capital. Other investors include Monogram Capital, Brand Foundry, Lakehouse Ventures, Mars Petcare, Joyance Partnersand TQ Ventures, among others.
Tell us about the product or service that Mixlab offers.
We’re a modern pet pharmacy that provides a delightfully personalized, headache-free experience. Veterinarians seamlessly prescribe in seconds on our proprietary online platform and we contact pet parents to schedule same-day or next-day delivery. Pet parents receive a customized care package with a personalized note from the pharmacist, clear instructions and a handpicked toy for their pet.
Our primary focus is compounding: instead of force-feeding your pet five different pills or cutting a pill into eighths to tailor the dosage, we can combine multiple medications, add flavoring (like beef, bacon, marshmallow), transform pills into various forms (treats, liquids, gels, and even gummy bears), and adapt dosages for size.
What inspired you to start Mixlab?
My cofounders and I share a strong belief that pets are family and they deserve the same level of care. When my 11-year-old pug, Bob, was diagnosed with a health condition, she was prescribed a medication that needed to be compounded for her weight. However, the local pharmacies had trouble getting the medication delivered fast enough and it took weeks to get it from an online pharmacy. The entire process—with back and forth calls, lack of transparency and delays–was quite frustrating at a time of distress. I knew that there had to be a better way. The expectations for our pets shouldn’t be any different than the ones we have for our human patients.
How is Mixlab different?
At Mixlab, we focus on providing the best level of care for pets and delivering an amazing experience for pet parents and veterinarians. We want to make their lives easier and better by utilizing technology and adding a healthy dose of TLC. Everything we do is personalized, from the medications that are tailored to pets’ needs, to the care package that comes with a note from the pharmacist and a toy that changes every time. We’re always there for pet parents and aim to bring joy at a time of distress.
What market does Mixlab target and how big is it?
About 60% of all US households have a pet and the US pet medications market is $10B within the $75B pet industry.
What’s your business model?
We’re a pharmacy and work with veterinarians to receive prescriptions for pets. We deliver medications in the most convenient manner for pet parents and veterinarians.
What was the funding process like?
We had built strong relationships over time with our investors and so it was mostly a matter of delivering on our promises. Once we went out to raise we were fortunate to receive a term sheet very rapidly and ended up being way oversubscribed. We were able to assemble a great team of investors who have helped build amazing companies across various industries.
What are the biggest challenges that you faced while raising capital?
It’s always important to be very efficient with the fundraising process so that the business can continue to operate smoothly and grow at the pace you want it to. Juggling the many priorities well is critical.
What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?
Many investors are interested in the pet industry because of the positive macro trends and there are many great pet companies out there. When it comes to pet meds, there’s a great deal of complexity and hurdles to overcome, which is why few companies have actually attempted to innovate in the space. When investors saw that we had laid a strong foundation to be a defining company of the space, they were excited to partner with us.
What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?
We’re planning on fueling growth in the Northeast, obtaining additional licenses, hiring many more people and building out another lab. There’s definitely lots to do.
What are the biggest challenges as you expand nationally?
We’re expanding nationally by building out additional labs so that we can be close to our customers and provide our high level of service. Because quality is so important to us and we focus on compounding, our buildouts are actually quite complex.
What advice can you offer companies in New York that do not have a fresh injection of capital in the bank?
I think perseverance and focus are key. It’s so critical to show strong progress over time and hit the milestones that matter for your business. Not having fresh capital can be scary but it allows entrepreneurs to hone in on what really needs to be done.
Where do you see the company going now over the near term?
We see Mixlab deepening and broadening our relationships with veterinarians across the country, launching new features for them and for pet parents, and establishing ourselves as the go-to pharmacy for pets.
What’s your favorite restaurant in the city?
It’s more of a bakery, but I’m pretty obsessed with the chocolate babka at Breads.