From left, Matt Campbell, Dan Espinal and Sean Miller, founders of Rarebreed Veterinary Partners. DENNIS GRIGGS

PORTLAND — Starting in 2018 as the idea of a former IDEXX employee, Rarebreed Veterinary Partners, a business partner to veterinarians, has raised almost $40 million in equity financing, catching New York investors’ attention.

Rarebreed Veterinary Partners “works to advance the performance of veterinary hospitals through investments in technology and business operations, and by creating a superior work experience for veterinary employees,” said Dan Espinal, CEO of the company.

Dan Espinal is a Cape Elizabeth resident. Another former IDEXX employee and Kennebunk resident, Sean Miller, is a partner in the company, as well as Cape Elizabeth resident and local investor, Matt Camppell. Campbell joined the company shortly after it began in 2019.

“Veterinarians are drawn to the profession by a connection to animals, not necessarily economic or career ambition,” Espinal said.

Espinal noted that vets earn far less than medical doctors, some carry high levels of student debt, and many are challenged with the day-to-day of running a practice.

According to Espinal, Rarebreed Veterinary Partners provides benefits to the industry, such as out-sized parental leave, pet medical benefits, and healthcare benefits for anyone working more than 30 hours a week.

The company employs 15 at the Danforth Street headquarters in Portland, said Espinal, “as well as nearly 200 employees in the 10 practices in which the company has invested throughout New England. Rarebreed joins a number of world-class animal health innovation companies based in Maine, including IDEXX, Covetrus, and DECHRA.”

“The bottom line is that we’re focused on taking care of the people who take care of animals,” said Espinal. “If we’re successful, then we can change people’s lives for the better, and our partner veterinary hospitals will be the employers of choice for those dedicating their professional lives to our pets.”

According to the Rarebree website, employees of the company, many pet-owners themselves, understand the struggles that veterinarians have from regular visits to the vet.

“The animal health market is rapidly expanding in the United States,” said Espinal. “Growth dynamics are driven by increasing pet ownership, increasing willingness to spend on pets, and a propensity to treat pets like full-fledged members of the family.  In surveys, Millennials and Generation Z audiences increasingly say that money is no object when it comes to their pets, and the health and well-being of their animals is a top priority. Growing numbers of pet owners celebrate pet birthdays, Valentine’s Day, and have Instagram accounts for their pets.”

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