by Stephen Ursery
PetScreening, a first-of-its-kind screening platform that empowers property managers to outsource their pet risk assessment and assistance animal validation processes at no charge, today announced a $3 million Series A funding round. Grotech Ventures led the round with Camber Creek, Relevance Capital and Vesta Ventures as additional participating partners. The round marks Vesta’s first investment in PetScreening. The other firms were part of PetScreening’s Series Seed funding.
With the invested capital, PetScreening plans to grow its employee headcount 25%. The funding has already enabled the company to hire James Jenkins as associate legal counsel and Andrew Hartman as chief growth officer. Anticipating future growth, PetScreening recently moved into a new headquarters in downtown Mooresville, N.C. The Series A funding also will enable the company to enhance its current services, further the development of educational training and marketing content and add new functionality to its platform. This fundraise also occurs as PetScreening is beginning national partnership agreements with three of the five largest apartment management companies on the NMHC Top 50 list.
“Covid has placed an exclamation point on how important pets are to the rental experience,” said Rich Ford, co-founder of Vesta Ventures. “PetScreening greatly enhances the relationship between resident and manager by providing professional processes and evaluation tools to create fair and value-add services. The significant traction to date and growth potential of Pet Screening made this investment extremely attractive to our venture fund.”
Hartman joins PetScreening from Red Ventures, where he was a vice president and general manager, and will lead PetScreening’s channel and partnership strategy. Jenkins graduated magna cum laude from Campbell University School of Law and is joining from PetScreening with experience in multiple roles at the North Carolina General Assembly and as a law clerk in the private sector.
Via the PetScreening platform, a rental applicant enters information about their pets into the only centralized pet-screening database to analyze rental housing-related risk. The platform weighs various pet-related factors, including a community’s specific restrictions, such as breed, weight and age. This provides property owners with a streamlined process to comprehensively assess a specific pet and pet owner who wants to live at a rental property. Non-pet owning residents fill out a free profile to demonstrate they are aware of the community rules and will adhere to them should they acquire, foster or sit for a pet/animal during their stay. PetScreening also evaluates reasonable accommodation requests for service animals and support animals within the rental housing industry.
“We could not be more appreciative of the support provided by these four outstanding venture capital firms,” said John Bradford, founder and CEO of PetScreening. “The pet population at apartment communities and rental properties continues to grow exponentially. To remain competitive, property managers must be pet friendly in order to attract residents, but they also have to manage the risk associated with accepting pets. This new funding will allow us to accelerate the development, sales and marketing of several new feature and functionality enhancements within our service offering for the benefit of both property managers and residents.”