Rover.com CEO Aaron Easterly with Caramel on the GeekWire podcast. Photo: Erynn Rose
Rover.com CEO Aaron Easterly with Caramel on the GeekWire podcast. Photo: Erynn Rose

Rover.com, meet Sleepover Rover.

Seattle-based online pet sitting service Rover.com is acquiring Phoenix-based Sleepover Rover, uniting two companies that are attempting to make it easier to find qualified people to watch dogs.

Terms of the deal are not being announced.

Sleepover Rover operates in-home dog boarding services in California, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado and Texas, focusing on dog-loving families. It does this by partnering with stay-at-home moms or dads or retirees who can devote multiple hours to dog care.

Sleepover Rover inspects every home in its network of professionals, examining yards and other aspects of the home for maximum pet comfort.

“They are more interested in caring for the dogs than managing their online presence,” said Rover.com CEO Aaron Easterly of the pet boarders on Sleepover Rover.

Founded 10 years ago, Sleepover Rover employs two people, with a network of about 600 pet sitting professionals. Rover.com, which raised $12 million in venture funding earlier this year, has a network of about 25,000 pet sitting professionals.

sleeoverroverThe 600 pet professionals on Sleepover Rover will set up profiles on Rover.com as a result of the deal, with Easterly saying that there’s very little overlap. Rover.com plans to continue to roll out the Sleepover Rover service nationwide, saying “we fully expect this to expand across the nation.” It will offer the new Rover Premier service in Denver.

Founded at a 2011 Startup Weekend by venture capitalist Greg Gottesman, Rover.com is seeing more than $1 million in bookings go through the platform each month. (The company did not disclose revenue). It competes against DogVacay, which raised $15 million in venture funding las fall.

Easterly said that Sleepover Rover initially reached out to them because they saw an opportunity to more effectively build their business on the Rover.com platform. The Sleepover Rover brand — started by Maggie Brown and Tina Myers — will continue to operate as a standalone as a subsidiary of Rover.com.

“We want that brand to be something separate from Rover, so people understand that when they use a Sleepover Rover sitter that it comes with a more standardized offering and verified photos, and that the person is at home full-time,” Easterly said.

Rover.com, which employs 65 people, operates in all fifty U.S. states. Easterly said that 90 percent of the U.S. population is within a 15 to 20 minute drive of a Rover sitter.

“Rover tapped the online sharing economy to help dog owners find the right person to care for their dog, but we recognized there was a segment that would benefit from a consultative service offline,” said Easterly. “Through the acquisition of Sleepover Rover we are able to launch Rover Premier, allowing us to offer that high-level service and meet the needs of more pet parents.”

Comments

  • Pet Lover

    I completely understand how Rover is useful. And I cannot begin to understand how they are worth a $12M investment or why they need 65!! employees. Can anyone explain that? Bubble?

    • Guest

      If they are booking $1 million/month, that’s $12 million/year. Let’s say it increases to $2 million/month next year. That’s $24 million/year in revenue. If it’s $3 million/month, then it’s $36 million/year. That’s why they were able to get a $12 million investment. Even at $3 million/month, that’s a drop in the bucket compared to how much money the US spends on pet sitting services each month. In short, their future earning potential is considerable thus investors give them some of their money to help expedite their growth.

      The 65 employees part is rather obvious. To effectively compete and continually improve your products you need developers, product managers, account management, marketing, finance, operations, etc. That’s why they have 25,000 pet sitting professionals vs. Sleepover Rover’s 600. To effectively build a quality technology product that millions of people adopt, you need a quality team.

      Bubble? I’d recommend not using that term if you don’t understand A) what that term means or, more importantly, B) how technology companies work.

      • Jack

        Bookings are the gross
        dollars that go through the service, NOT the revenue that Rover is generating.
        Some of the other companies in the
        sharing economy generate anywhere from ~10% (Airbnb) to 20% (Uber). I have no idea how much of a cut Rover takes, it could be
        higher or lower, but would guess it to be somewhere in that range. Important to note as this would put their current revenue
        run-rate from $1.2mn to $2.4mn (using the Airbnb / Uber numbers). This is not at all to say they can’t get there in the future,
        but gross bookings are vastly different than revenue. Also you should try not to be so derogatory to other
        commenters even if their opinion differs from yours.

    • RunTheNumbers

      I’ll try to supply some info that makes this easier to understand. First is understanding the size of the market: in 2011, it turns out pet owners in the US spent $3.79 Billion on “grooming, boarding, pet hotels, pet-sitting and day care”. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/02/us-pet-spending-surpasses_n_1317212.html) And, the market is continuing to grow.

      The dollars & employees are simply a function of the strategy to capture that market. Is it reasonable or justified? Obviously a few folks put money behind it, so it made sense to somebody.

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