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Venture Capital News: Barks to $3.5M New Funding Round

SEATTLE, WA, Digital home dog boarding leader that connects dog owners with approved and reviewed dog sitters, today announced the closing of $3.5 million in new funding., the digital home dog boarding leader that connects dog owners with approved and reviewed dog sitters, today announced the closing of $3.5 million in new funding, led by pet specialty retailer Petco. Existing investors Madrona Venture Group, CrunchFund and Rolling Bay Ventures also participated in the round.

'We are pleased to invest in and to help grow, which has established itself as the clear leader in the space,' said Ted Root, Vice President of Business Development at Petco. 'Both of our companies share a love for dogs and a vision to provide dog owners with the most affordable, trusted solutions possible. We are committed to the partnership and excited about the opportunities ahead.'

Rover and Petco are industry leaders in pet services, the fastest-growing segment of the pet business. Petco's investment in Rover includes an exclusive partnership to promote Rover across Petco's lines of business, which includes nearly 1,300 Petco stores, more than 50 Unleashed by Petco neighborhood stores, and our e-commerce business at In conjunction with Petco's investment, Root will join Rover's board of directors.

In addition, Rover will provide support for Petco's 5K9 Walk Run series for people and pets, held in selected cities across the country. Each event includes a 5 kilometer race, a 1 mile race and a health and fitness expo for people and pets. Proceeds from these events benefit The Petco Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization created in 1999 with a mission to raise the quality of life for pets and people who love and need them.

'We could not ask for a better strategic partner to serve dog owners and sitters,' said Aaron Easterly, CEO of Rover. 'Our revenue is twenty times what it was a year ago - and four times what it was three months ago. This partnership will help further accelerate the growth of our in-home dog care solution.'

Rover is committed to fostering a strong online community to match dog owners with trusted dog sitters across the country. Rover's service includes 24-7 vet consultation via VetLIVE, customer emergency support, photo sharing, music videos highlighting a dog's stay, and a complete satisfaction guarantee.

With 150,000 members enrolled on Rover, access to sitters in over 4,300 cities and approximately 1,000 sitter options in each of the top 20 U.S. markets, Rover is the largest online dog sitting marketplace. Over 87 percent of people in the United States are within a short drive of a Rover sitter and 94 percent of reviewed stays have received a perfect five-star rating.

About Rover is the leading online community that connects dog owners with trusted dog sitters, and is where dogs beg to stay. We believe that all dogs deserve safe, loving homes even when their owners are away, and that's why we created Rover. Our services provide an alternative to traditional caged boarding facilities, or family, friends and neighbors who are often asked to sit in a pinch. Rover currently operates nationwide, with 150,000 members enrolled, more than 25,000 approved sitters in over 4,300 cities across the U.S., and approximately 1,000 sitter options in each of the top 20 markets. Additionally, we believe all dogs deserve a happy and loving home and that's why we're committed to supporting animal shelters and companion animal programs across the nation. We also make it easy for sitters to donate a portion of their proceeds to local shelters through our Sit-a-Dog, Save-a-Life program, saving the lives of dogs everywhere.

About Petco

Petco is a leading pet specialty retailer that provides the products, services and advice that make it easier for our customers to be great pet parents. Everything we do is guided by our vision for Healthier Pets. Happier People. Better World. We operate more than 1,200 stores nationwide and in Puerto Rico, including more than 50 Unleashed by Petco locations, a smaller format neighborhood shop, and The Petco Foundation, an independent nonprofit organization, has raised more than $110 million since it was created in 1999 to help promote and improve the welfare of companion animals. In conjunction with the Foundation, we work with and support thousands of local animal-welfare groups across the country and, through in-store adoption events, help find homes for more than 350,000 animals every year.
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