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Rover and DogVacay
Online pet-sitting services Rover and DogVacay have teamed up. (Rover Image), the Seattle-based leader in the online pet sitting and dog walking marketplace, is taking a big bite out of the competition by acquiring DogVacay, the second-largest such company in the $15 billion pet care industry.

The combined company will keep the Rover name, and comes just six months after the 6-year-old startup raised $40 million with an eye toward becoming profitable by the end of 2017. CEO Aaron Easterly said at the time that it could be the company’s last funding round before a public offering.

Terms of Wednesday’s all-stock deal were not revealed. DogVacay had raised nearly $50 million from backers like Benchmark, Andreessen Horowitz, First Round Capital, Foundation Capital, and others.

The combination of the two companies will give pet owners access to a network of more than 100,000 five-star sitters. Through a range of services in cities across the U.S. and Canada, Rover and DogVacay generated over $150 million in bookings in 2016.

“Rover and DogVacay are both made up of dog people on a mission to enable everyone to experience the love and joy of a pet,” Easterly said in a news release. “Together, we can accomplish our goals quicker and make an even bigger impact. Plus, this partnership will enable us to pick up engineering velocity, bring new products to market faster and invest even more aggressively in building the best tools for our sitters and dog walkers.”

Rover staff
Rover employees celebrate with CEO Aaron Easterly after his CEO of the Year award win at the 2016 GeekWire Awards. (GeekWire Photo)

Santa Monica, Calif.-based DogVacay was founded by husband and wife team Aaron Hirschhorn and Karine Nissim in March 2012.

“Growing DogVacay with my team over the past five years across the U.S. and Canada has been an incredible journey,” Hirschhorn said in a statement. “Our goal has always been to make quality pet care accessible to everyone, and with Rover and DogVacay’s experience and expertise, we will continue to create the best solution for our host community, our pet parents and most importantly, our pets that we love as family.”

Rover’s headquarters will continue to be in Seattle and the combined company, which will have 250 employees, will be led by Easterly as CEO. Some employees will remain in Southern California for the foreseeable future, and Hirschhorn will join the board of directors. Plans for international expansion are expected to accelerate, the news release said.

In October, Easterly cited third-party research that found Rover growing nine times as fast over the last three years than the “second-place person in this space.”

Rover has raised $91.5 million to date from investors like Foundry Group, Menlo Ventures, and Madrona Venture Group. It employed 170 people this past October.

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