A capital injection in Withmal aims to accelerate the company’s domestic expansion in a fragmented market.
L Catterton continues its venture into the pet industry with its latest strategic investment in Withmal, one of Japan’s largest veterinary services groups.
While the financials remain undisclosed, the capital pump positions the veterinary group to accelerate its domestic expansion while building on its service quality and pet-parent relations.
“Withmal is a scalable enterprise in a robust category in Japan that also addresses a very real challenge faced by business owners in the country: the lack of successors,” says Toshitaka Shimizu, Partner for L Catterton Asia.
The group currently has over 20 pet clinics nationwide and is expected to continue growing, benefiting from the fragmentation in the Japanese veterinary services market.
“Pets are treasured members of many families in Japan, and it is our mission to build a highly trusted veterinary services group that pet parents across the country can rely on for their pets’ healthcare needs,” notes Withmal’s Founder and CEO Tomoki Yamasaki.
Most of Japan’s 13,000 pet clinics are small businesses owned by vets over 50 with no succession plans, according to the firm. Withmal invites such vets to join the group, ensuring the businesses’ longevity after their retirement by taking over operational and administrative tasks.
Round of investments in the pet space
L Catterton has built a significant portfolio of pet care brands in recent times. The firm recently invested in fresh dog company Butternut Box to accelerate its position in the fresh pet food space.
It also invested $60 million (€54.9M) in Indian pet food manufacturer Drools and an undisclosed amount in Chinese freeze-dried pet food company Partner Pet.
The firm has also invested in other pet food and care companies like Alliance Animal Health, Harringtons, Instinct, JustFoodForDogs, Lily’s Kitchen, Old Mother Hubbard, Petlove, PetVet Care Centers, Pure & Natural, and Rachael Ray Nutrish.
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