Pet-sitting powerhouse Rover has made an acquisition that will help the Seattle company build on its European expansion, first disclosed earlier this year.
Rover said it has acquired DogBuddy, a dog boarding, day care and walking platform based in London. DogBuddy is a very similar business to Rover and would have been a key competitor, but together they could supercharge Rover’s growth in Europe.
London-based DogBuddy was founded in 2013, and it has provided more than 1 million dog overnight stays with more than 25,000 dog sitters on the platform, compared to 200,000 sitters on Rover. The 50-person company, which also has an office in Barcelona, will remain independent, Rover CFO Tracy Knox said in interview with GeekWire.
“Rover and DogBuddy are the leaders I think in the world, and so combining the top players in the United States and Europe gives us a really strong position to continue to pursue global leadership here,” Knox said.
Knox wouldn’t give terms of the acquisition, but she did say that it was a mix between stock and cash.
DogBuddy CEO Richard Setterwall will remain at the helm, and Megan Teepe, vice president and general manager of international for Rover, will lead its global growth.
The acquisition of DogBuddy gives Rover a presence in the U.K., Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Sweden, Norway, and the Netherlands. Rover has an office in Berlin that has served as its European HQ following the announcement of the expansion in May.
Knox said the U.S. boasts a $100 billion pet market. Europe represents 30 percent of global pet spend, Rover CEO Aaron Easterly has noted previously, with 70 million pet-owning households compared to 90 million in the U.S. It features similar pet ownership trends to the U.S. — for example, 90 percent of pet owners in the United Kingdom consider pets as part of the family.
“I don’t know that people appreciate how large the total market and industry opportunity is,” Knox said.
In addition to its European expansion, Rover recently beefed up its U.S. headquarters, leasing a new office space in Seattle with room for approximately 700 people. With the addition of DogBuddy, Rover has 475 employees worldwide, including about 300 in Seattle.
All of this activity is powered by some huge funding rounds over the years. Rover has raised a total of $310 million in its lifetime, including a $155 million round in May and a $65 million round in July 2017.