Since its first Regional Growth Loan from Finance East in 2014, Cambridgeshire based Vetstream has continued to provide detailed online clinical information services to the veterinary sector, worldwide.In that time the company has extended both its product range and geographical reach and is now ready to invest in significant growth. A second Regional Growth Loan of £150,000 has been secured to aid this expansion.
Its core ‘Vetlexicon’ offering contains a range of species based modules providing vets across the globe with peer reviewed material, which is updated on a weekly basis. The information, which is available on a subscription basis, contains thousands of articles, images, videos etc. in numerous categories, to support vets in their clinical practice. Since 2014 the Vetlexicon suite has expanded from its original four modules – Canis (dog), Felis (cat), Equis (horse) and Lapis (rabbit) – to now include Exotis (covering a range of species from Guinea Pigs to “exotics”) and soon Bovis (cattle) will also be added.
Vetstream Managing Director, Dr Mark Johnston, says: “As well as developing new modules, we have concentrated heavily on increasing our traction in new markets. We have established a relationship with the World Small Veterinary Association (WSAVA) which has resulted in Vetlexicon now being available in all of their 82 country members, with licences currently secured in 21 countries. We have made good progress since our first loan from Finance East – there have been some challenges to overcome but we have learnt from them and are in a stronger position to step up our expansion and really take advantage of the global opportunities now open to us.”
The funds will be used to support the overall growth strategy. In terms of product this will initially focus on launching the Bovis module and extending the Exotis module then, over the next four years, see the development of Suis (pig), Ovis & Capris (sheep and goat) and Piscis (fish). This will be accompanied by an investment in marketing and the creation of new roles including an advertising sales manager and a business development manager. In addition to the core Vetlexicon product suite, further opportunities are being exploited in the provision of Vetacademy, an online CPD management system, and Practis, an online support tool for practice managers as well capitalising on advertising revenue potential.
Stuart Ager, Senior Fund Manager at Finance East, adds: “The Vetstream team has developed a clear product development and enhancement strategy, supported by new personnel and marketing investment, designed to achieve considerable growth across the business. The global animal health market is on the increase, having gone from $13billion to $15billion since our last loan. Vetstream has established itself as a leading provider of quality information and, with no obvious competition in the sector, is well-positioned to build on its early success.”
The Regional Growth Loan Scheme (RGLS) is managed by Finance East, part of The FSE Group, on behalf of Local Enterprise Partnerships in the East of England and British Business Bank. The RGLS is available to established, incorporated businesses based within the East of England that have a minimum annual turnover of £100k, show strong growth potential and have a medium to long-term funding requirement to deliver that growth.