Rover is getting a little bit of Hollywood sizzle.
The Seattle-based online dog-sitting marketplace announced today that actor Ashton Kutcher — yes, the guy behind films such as Dude, Where’s My Car? and No Strings Attached — is taking an equity stake in the company via his investment firm A-Grade Investments.
A-Grade —whose other partners include Guy Oseary and Ron Burkle — has been a prominent investor in the sharing economy space. It is also a backer of Product Hunt, Casper, GetAround and other startups, while Kutcher himself has sunk an estimated $100 million into companies such as Spotify, Foursquare and Airbnb.
This marks the first entry into the world of dog boarding for the firm.
“The A-GRade team has been interested in this space for a while but it wasn’t until we met the team at Rover.com and learned about its robust marketplace that we finally found the company we wanted to back,” Kutcher said in a press release. “As dog owners, we understand how difficult it can be to find someone you trust to care for your dog. Rover is solving a problem millions of people deal with everyday by providing the most sensible solution—connecting dog owners with people who truly love dogs and want to take care of them.”
When asked, a representative for Rover declined to discuss the details of the agreement between the two firms.
Today’s announcement is good news for Rover, which has seen massive growth over the past year. Rover is now pulling in “seven figures” worth of revenue every month, and has more than 25,000 dog-sitters in over 9,000 cities across the U.S.
Having someone with Kutcher’s social media presence — he boasts more than 16.5 million followers on Twitter (many of whom are presumably dog lovers) — also shouldn’t hurt. Kutcher is a dog lover, owning a mutt and a Bernedoodle.
In addition to the funding news, the company also announced that it’s expanding its Premier service to Los Angeles, which gives special-needs pooches a “high-touch” experience. Premier hosts are pre-screened, and agree to devote their time to caring for a dog, so that pet owners can be sure that their dog will get premium treatment.
That should be an interesting market for Rover to penetrate since it is also the home base of rival DogVacay, which is backed by the likes of Benchmark, Foundation Capital, First Round Capital, DAG Ventures and Sherpa Ventures. It raised $15 million last year.
Rover, meanwhile, raised $12 million in funding earlier this year from Menlo Ventures, Madrona and others. It also has strategic funding from retailer Petco. Rover was started by venture capitalist Greg Gottesman at a Seattle Startup Weekend in 2011, taking home first place honors.