Summary:

Though they aren’t raising the huge nine-figure funding rounds of fellow sharing economy companies Airbnb and Uber, pet sitting startups Rover and DogVacay are getting more VC attention.

Hulu Pets Channel
photo: Hulu Pet Channel

If you still needed evidence that the collaborative consumption model is spreading to all sectors of the regular consumer economy, look no further than the quickly growing market for pet boarding services online. Dog sitting service Rover on Wednesday announced it has raised a $12 million Series C round, led by new investor and Silicon Valley institution Menlo Ventures.

That follows Rover competitor DogVacay’s $15 million funding round in October. Both companies match dog owners with people willing to offer up their homes and time to take car of your pooch when you leave town. Basically they’re both Airbnbs for pet care, except with a greater level of service (when was the last time your Aribnb host engaged you in a game of tug of war or cleaned up after your mess in the yard?).

Dog with iPhone (Hippo the connected pit bull)

Though DogVacay has attracted more attention, Rover actually launched three months earlier in late 2011. It has since expanded outside of its hometown Seattle to cover most of the country. Rover says it has 25,000 registered pet sitters, one of which is within a short drive of 92 percent of the U.S. population. The startup has also partnered with pet supplies retailer Petco to offering boarding services to its customers.

In addition to Menlo Ventures, existing investors Madrona Venture Group, Foundry Group and Petco participated in the round. Rover last raised funds in July as part of a $2.5 million strategic investment round led by Petco. According to CrunchBase , the company has raised a total of $25 million so far.

The sharing economy is spreading to all corners of life, turning ordinary people into part-time entrepreneurs selling or renting their space, skills, services and time. It’s even become the subject of parody. This week’s episode of the IFC show Portlandia mocked the Ubers, Airbnbs and TaskRabbits of the world in a sketch called “Rent it Out.”

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