Who is going to be the alpha dog in this rivalry? Rover.com or DogVacay?
Well, both startup companies, which earlier this year launched a matchmaking service for pet sitters and dog owners, are working hard to
And today DogVacay got tossed a big bone. The LA-based company has announced $6 million in venture funding from FirstRound Capital and Benchmark Capital. As a result of the deal, Benchmark’s Bill Gurley, a board member at Zillow, OpenTable and Uber, has joined the board.
Gurley called DogVacay, which has been growing revenues 60 percent month-over-month, an “amazing 2-sided marketplace” that benefits both dog sitters and dog owners. The company said it plans to use the funds to expand internationally, and to offer new services like dog walking, grooming and training.
The investment follows a $3.4 million round in Rover.com in April, including funds from dog-loving venture capitalist Michael Arrington; Madrona Venture Group and others. Rover.com started as a Startup Weekend project by Madrona’s Greg Gottesman who remains active in the company.
It has been rolling out a number of services in recent weeks, including a new 24-7 online vet care option for dog sitters. On the GeekWire podcast and radio show last month, Rover.com CEO Aaron Easterly, a veteran of aQuantive, said that they would also consider rolling out services internationally and expand to care for other animals. He also added that new offerings such as an e-commerce option where people could purchase pet food and other supplies.
“The space for managing your dog’s care, not just overnight … basically, nobody owns that space online,” said Easterly on the podcast. “There is an opportunity for logical extensions into that. Once someone is already using Rover to manage their dog’s profile, to manage their dog’s preferences to manage their dog’s history — there are lots of fascinating areas to expand.”