May 26, 2018
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Portland e-commerce company raises $6.5M in venture capital

By Whit Richardson, BDN Staff

PORTLAND, Maine — Vets First Choice, a company that offers e-commerce and marketing services to veterinarians, said Monday it has raised $6.5 million in a recent round of financing. The round was led by a new investor, HLM Venture Partners.

Portland-based Vets First Choice was founded in 2008 and partners with veterinarians to provide online pharmacy services to pet owners. To date, it has registered more than a half-million pet owner subscribers through veterinary practices across the country for scheduled home delivery of important medications, diets and other products, according to a news release.

“We’re very pleased to have added over a half-million subscribers in just 3 years, and I look forward to seeing continued, robust growth,” said Benjamin Shaw, Vets First Choice’s CEO. “We are confident that we provide the best available pharmacy service in the market today for our veterinary healthcare team partners and their pet owner clients. With the addition of HLM Venture Partners to our strong syndicate, and our new resources, we are extremely well positioned.”

Last year, Inc. magazine ranked Vets First Choice as the 30th-fastest-growing company in the country based on 6,133 percent revenue growth between 2008, when it posted $120,500 during its first year, to 2011 when it posted $7.5 million.

HLM Venture Partners is a venture capital firm with offices in Boston and San Francisco. It invests in companies in the areas of health care service, health care information technology and medical devices.

“Vets First Choice offers a fantastic service for pet owners and veterinarians,” said Yumin Choi, vice president at HLM Venture Partners in a statement. “We expect that Vets First Choice will continue to build on its impressive leadership position in this rapidly growing market and will be a source of innovation and consolidation for the veterinary pharmacy services.”

Also participating in the latest investment round were existing investors Polaris Partners; Borealis Ventures; Harbor Light Capital; and Black Point Group, which is based in Portland and was founded by Benjamin Shaw and his father, David Shaw, the founder and former CEO of Idexx Laboratories in Westbrook.

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