Venture Capital News: Rover.com Fetches $25M Funding
SEATTLE, WA, Network connecting dog owners with dog lovers for hire, today announced a $25 million round of funding, led by Technology Crossover Ventures.
Rover.com, the nation's largest network connecting dog owners with dog lovers for hire, today announced a $25 million round of funding, led by Technology Crossover Ventures (TCV), a leading provider of capital to growth-stage companies in the technology industry. With this funding round, Rover takes another meaningful step in redefining the dog-boarding category through the power of the sharing economy. Existing investors Foundry Group, Madrona Venture Group, Menlo Ventures, and Petco also participated in the financing.
'We invest in market-leading technology companies that we believe have huge potential and are poised for massive expansion, and Rover is a great fit,' said David Yuan, General Partner at TCV. 'Even as Rover has grown to become the largest network in the US, it has earned unparalleled customer satisfaction and loyalty. In fact, the research we conducted has revealed that more than 90% of Rover's customers have recommended the service to someone else, which is pretty remarkable.'
Rover has maintained impressive growth since its inception three years ago and the strong momentum continued over the past year:
Sitting revenue booked on Rover is 5X the prior year. Repeat transactions are growing even faster.
Rover has now connected dog owners to more than 40,000 sitters in the United States in 10,000 cities.
The company's employee base has almost doubled over the past year. Rover currently has 80 full-time employees.
Using the peer-to-peer model, Rover is successfully converting a huge shadow market of dog owners into paying customers on its network. Previously, dog owners only used a commercial solution 10% of the time when they traveled. The majority had to rely on friends, family, and neighbors. However, that is changing. Rover's data shows 65% of their users are people who, prior to Rover, would not have used a commercial service to watch their pet.
'Forty-one percent of pet parents have forgone a trip due to concerns about pet care,' said Aaron Easterly, CEO of Rover.com. 'When creating Rover, we set out to provide a convenient, affordable solution that eliminates one of the most common barriers to pet ownership-lack of boarding options-so everyone can enjoy that love and companionship. Backing from TCV is incredible confirmation of our progress to date and an exciting partnership that will power Rover's growth and delivery of trusted, reliable pet care for more and more pet parents.'
Rover also announced Jeremy Wacksman, Vice President of Marketing and Product Management at Zillow, will join Rover's Board of Directors. Wacksman has extensive brand-building and marketing experience. He spearheaded Zillow's brand development, growing Zillow to the largest real estate marketplace in the US with nearly 90 million unique users. Wacksman's expertise will be helpful as Rover uses this investment to drive marketplace growth.
David Yuan, whose investments include Facebook, AppNexus and ExactTarget, led the investment for TCV and will also participate on the board. Yuan has been recognized by AlwaysOn's VC 100 and multiple times by Forbes Magazine's 'Midas List' of the top 100 technology investors.
Rover.com connects dog owners with a nationwide network of dog lovers for hire. Founded on the belief that everyone should have the opportunity to experience the unconditional love of a dog, Rover makes it easy for dog owners throughout the U.S. to reach sitters who offer in-home boarding, pet sitting, dog walking, and day care. More than 92% of the population lives within a short drive of one of Rover's 40,000 sitters, and 95% of reviewed stays have received a perfect five-star rating. In addition to connecting pet owners with sitters, the Rover platform offers complimentary premium insurance for all services booked through Rover, access to 24/7 vet consultation, mobile apps, photo sharing, videos of stay highlights, and optional sitter background checks.
Technology Crossover Ventures (TCV), founded in 1995, is a leading provider of capital to growth-stage private and public companies in the technology industry. With nearly $10 billion in capital raised, TCV has invested in more than 200 technology companies over the last 20 years. Selected investments include Altiris, C|NET, ExactTarget, Expedia, Facebook, Fandango, FX Alliance, GoDaddy, Genesys Software, HomeAway, Netflix, NewVoiceMedia, RealNetworks, Redback Networks, RiskMetrics Group, Sitecore, Splunk, Spotify, Thinkorswim, VICE Media, and Zillow. TCV is headquartered in Palo Alto, California, with offices in New York and London. For more information about TCV, including a complete list of TCV investments, visit www.tcv.com.
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