Rover, the online platform dedicated to connecting dog owners with a range of services, including walkers, has raised $65 million in a round of funding led by Spark Capital, with participation from Menlo Ventures, Foundry Group, Omers Ventures, Technology Crossover Ventures, Bespoke Strategies, and StepStone Group.
Founded out of Seattle in 2011, Rover allows anyone to sign up as dog owner or “care provider,” which may include regular walking, dog-boarding, house-sitting, or drop-in visits. The platform also offers what it calls Rover Cards, which allow providers to share real-time information with owners through the mobile app, including messages, maps, and photos of the dog’s walk.
Prior to now, Rover.com had raised around $91 million in funding, including a $40 million tranche less than a year ago, and with its latest cash influx the company said it plans to expand its service internationally. Indeed, it has already started testing its platform in Canada and has plans to open up to additional markets later this year. The funds will also be put toward producing new products and services.
“We find that people are increasingly looking for quality, technology-enabled services to make their lives easier and more enjoyable, and Rover is leading this movement for the pet care industry,” noted Rover CEO Aaron Easterly. “With this significant funding from new and returning investors, we will continue to innovate on ways we can make it easier for pet parents to find and book everyday pet care. Additionally, our global expansion will give people around the world the ability to know the love and joy of owning a pet.”
A number of similar pet-sitting companies have emerged over the years, including the now-defunct Stayhound (the URL now redirects to Rover) and the well-funded DogVacay, which had raised almost $50 million in funding before Rover snapped it up back in March.
Rover, however, has emerged at the forefront of the pet-sitting space. It now claims 140,000 sitters across North America, which represents a 100 percent increase year-on-year (though a chunk of that figure likely stems from its DogVacay acquisition) — and the company said it expects a 200 percent growth in net revenue this year.