Who is the top dog in canine boarding?
That question is a contentious one among two pet-sitting startups.
DogVacay CEO Aaron Hirschhorn told PandoDaily earlier this week that his company’s business is an order of magnitude larger than Seattle-based Rover.com, a statement that came as the company expanded its services and updated its mobile app.
But Rover CEO Aaron Easterly says not so fast.
In an email to GeekWire, Easterly said that the Seattle company is actually the largest player in connecting dog owners with dog sitters.
Yes, it appear as if we’ve got an old-fashioned dog fight.
“We think it is great that other companies in the space are growing,” said Easterly, a former executive at aQuantive. “It raises awareness of our service, and it helps educate dog owners on alternative boarding options. However, we are more focused on our customers than our competitors. In regards to the metrics: Assuming the numbers quoted are true, we have a much larger marketplace and our revenue is growing 2-3 times faster.”
DogVacay’s mobile app update includes new services designed to appeal to dog owners even when they aren’t having their pets watched. The app now includes a Vet Finder feature to help owners get medical assistance for their animals, along with Symptom Checker, a WebMD for canine illnesses.
In addition, the app also includes VacayCam, a service that allows users to snap a picture of their dog and add colorful borders and effects. The app can even be set to emit a sound to get the dog’s attention before taking a photo.
Rover has been up to its own tricks as well. Last week, the company announced it was acquiring Sleepover Rover, an Arizona-based company that helps connect dogs with in-home boarding services in California, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado and Texas. Earlier this year, Rover raised $12 million in an investment round led by Menlo Ventures, and also includes Petco as a backer and partner. Total funding stands at about $25 million.
DogVacay also is well funded, having raised a $15 million venture round from Benchmark and others last October. Total funding stands at about $22 million.