Insurance Times speaks to ManyPets’ co-founder and chief executive about the pet insurer’s recent name change and move into pet health and wellbeing 

In March 2022, MGA unicorn Bought By Many changed its name to ManyPets, looking to bring the UK business in line with the group’s global brand. The firm had already rebranded its operations in Sweden to ManyPets back in 2020.

This brand refresh forms part of the MGA’s wider ambition ”to cement ManyPets as a household name around the world”, according to Steven Mendel, the company’s chief executive and co-founder.

Linked to this goal, ManyPets entered the US pet insurance market in 2021, identifying that the market there “is still very ripe” for disruption.

Mendel tells Insurance Times: “We’re already available to pet parents in 40 states, including New York, Texas and California, representing around 85% of the market in the US.

“The number of insurers entering pet insurance in the US doubled in the last three years and while we’ve identified some key players in the US market, we’re confident that pet owners are still looking for a quality provider that can take care of their pets’ health.

”The market is still very ripe. More than 98% of US pet parents are still leaving their pets uninsured and underprotected. ManyPets is committed to gaining their attention and their trust.

“We’ve been focused on pets since 2017 and, as we begin to expand our business to offer pet insurance and more, it makes sense to put pets firmly in the centre of our name and identity.

”Given the success of our ManyPets name in both Sweden and the US, it made sense to cement ManyPets as a household name around the world.”

Describing ManyPets as ”one of the largest MGAs in the UK”, Mendel notes that “nobody has ever challenged the mainstream players in this market before” – he feels this is because pet insurance has typically been ”a bit of a laughing stock”.

However, now market competition is springing up in the form of fintechs. For example, Revolut entered the pet insurance market back in February.

Meanwhile, insurtech Lemonade launched a pet insurance product in September 2021.

Mendel adds: “The world of pet insurance is an attractive market to enter and it is no surprise that big players in financial services want in on the action.

”Like many of our competitors, Revolut [is not] solely focused on pets or insurance and we believe this gives us the edge.

”We are all about pets and we know all about insurance.”

Holistic care focus

The MGA’s rebrand ties in with its recent product expansion too, Mendel adds.

He explains: “We’re seeing a shift in how people approach their pets’ health and wellbeing and [they] are looking to access more holistic care.

”Our new name represents a significant stage in our journey, as we expand our pet health and insurance offer to include access to other convenient pet health benefits.

”We’ve seen how successful our wellness offer is in the US and we’re looking at how to bring this to our other markets. We have ambitious goals to support these owners.”

Mendel says that today’s pet owners want treatment, preventative care and access to nutritionist and behaviourist support all in one place, to help their pets live long and happy lives.

Therefore, ManyPets acquired flea and worming subscription service VetBox in December 2021, which Mendal says is the MGA’s first step in providing a one-stop-shop pet health service.

How did ManyPets get its name?

After failing to find a suitable company name following speaking to brand consultants, Mendel says he “came up with the name ManyPets in a fit of rage”.

Steven Mendel's new dog Ted

Steven Mendel and his dog 

He explains: “The name had to pass two criteria. It had to work in multiple different languages and countries as we were already in Sweden and we plan to be in many more countries.

“Also, the Uniform Resource Locator (URL) had to be available in a variety of different endings, for example .com,, etc.”

After settling on the name ManyPets, Mendel hit another roadblock – the URL was not available because it was owned by a lady called Carol, who lived on the west coast of America.

Mendel messaged Carol and found out that she had bought the URL some years earlier to use for a dog walking business in her retirement. However, following a major operation, it was unlikely that she would be able to action her initial business plan.

Guy Farley, ManyPets’ co-founder and chief technology officer, asked Carol if the MGA could buy the business name from her. She said she would agree to the scheme if the firm made a donation to her pension plan.

The rest, as they say, is history.

Strength in numbers

Before Bought By Many launched, however, Mendel and co-founder Guy Farley’s original plan was to ”build communities for people with niche insurance needs”.

For example, travel insurance for diabetics, pet insurance for labradors, professional indemnity insurance for mobile hairdressers and personal accident cover for cyclists.

“That’s what we were trying to do - our agenda was to bring people together and to leverage the power of the group – hence the name Bought By Many,” Mendel says.

“The original agenda was to have a name such as ‘all for one’ or ‘one for all’, but we couldn’t get any of the URLs, so Bought By Many was the closest we could get to the URL and a name that described what we were.”

Bought By Many was founded in 2012 and although the business can no longer accurately be described as a ‘startup’, Mendel believes the MGA still has ”a startup mentality”.

”I think about the challenging mindset of a startup - the tenacity and the need to think big, which are two of our core values,” he says.