Why We Invested In FidoCure aka How Tech Can Help Save Dogs (And Eventually Humans) From Cancer

2 min read

In October FidoCure, also known as One Health Company, announced a $10M series A led by Polaris Ventures and we increased our position given our continued excitement. Tau Ventures, an AI-first seed fund in Silicon Valley, was first an investor in the seed led by Andreessen-Horwitz. FidoCure helps provide cancer treatments for dogs and eventually could improve it for humans too. The company is a graduate of YCombinator and impressed us with (1) a strong need, (2) building an execution-focused team, and (3) creating a differentiated product.

1) The Need

6M dogs in the US get cancer every year compared to ~1.8M humans. Dogs may be the species that get cancer the most, almost 10x more than humans (courtesy of all the genetic modifications we have done to them), and only 1 in 4 gets treated. The dog market in the US alone is $85B and a dog owner pays on average $6K-$10K to a vet to get a dog treated for cancer (source: CareCredit). FidoCure’s proposition is it can both increase access to 21st-century cancer treatments and also provide a more cost-effective alternative. Given the considerably less insurance and less regulation when treating dogs compared to humans, we also saw an easier go to market for the company.

2) The Team

Besides the deep sense of mission, we appreciated the experience both cofounders brought to the table. CEO Christina Lopes was previously a Managing Director at Cerberus Capital where she interfaced with entities and individuals worldwide while helping manage $45B assets under management. CSO / cofounder Ben Lewis founded previously 4Vets providing nationwide, multi-brand B2B distributor of veterinary and pet supplies in Brazil. Complementing their stellar academic credentials, Christina is a Young Global Leader from the World Economic Forum which is akin to a global 40 and under 40 and Ben was captain of the US kayaking team in the 2004 Olympics. They have built a cohesive team of 14 focusing on engineering, product, and business roles, operating out of Palo Alto, in the heart of Silicon Valley.

3) The Product

The company’s product is akin to concierge medicine for a dog owner consisting of a test + report + treatment + data, in many ways a canine Foundation Medicine / Flatiron Health. Their original channel was B2B but D2C has been becoming increasingly significant, something we are very supportive of. The company has just crossed 1100 dogs treated — a result of continued experimentation with digital channels while also establishing itself among Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs). Long-term we see an even bigger play for the company as they have been augmenting their database and starting to show results on correlating canine to human cancer. For instance, they presented their results at the American Association for Cancer Research in Jun 2020 and published them in a paper in Oct 2020 in the European Journal of Cancer. 

We are honored and excited to be part of FidoCure’s journey, using technology to solve a big problem. More at http://fidocure.com.

The images in this article are courtesy of FidoCure. Originally published on “Data Driven Investor,” am happy to syndicate on other platforms. I am the Managing Partner and Cofounder of Tau Ventures with 20 years in Silicon Valley across corporates, own startup, and VC funds. These are purposely short articles focused on practical insights (I call it gl;dr — good length; did read). Many of my writings are at https://www.linkedin.com/in/amgarg/detail/recent-activity/posts and I would be stoked if they get people interested enough in a topic to explore in further depth. If this article had useful insights for you comment away and/or give a like on the article and on the Tau Ventures’ LinkedIn page, with due thanks for supporting our work. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Amit Garg I have been in Silicon Valley for 20 years -- at Samsung NEXT Ventures, running my own startup (as of May 2019 a series D that has raised $120M and valued at $450M), at Norwest Ventures, and doing product and analytics at Google. My academic training is BS in computer science and MS in biomedical informatics, both from Stanford, and MBA from Harvard. I speak natively 3 languages, live carbon-neutral, am a 70.3 Ironman finisher, and have built a hospital in rural India serving 100,000 people.

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