DogVacay, a startup that pairs dog-sitters with dog owners through an AirBnB-like service, has added another investor to its seed funding as the service expands across the United States. Investor Andreessen Horowitz has joined existing investors including First Round Capital, Science Inc., Ben Ling, Ted Rheingold, Quest Venture Partners, and Baroda Ventures who contributed to a seed round of slightly more than $1 million this past March.
GigaOM wrote about DogVacay when it launched this spring, describing the essential problem the service attempts to fix:
For most dog owners (like me!), finding a place for your dog to stay while traveling can be a huge pain. You can put your dog in a kennel, but most of the time that means your best friend spends several days cooped up in a cage with only limited time to play. You can board your dog in a high-class puppy hotel, but that can get expensive fast. You could try to find a dog walker to board with, but unless you have your own, finding someone based on positive word-of-mouth can be difficult. Or you could find a friend to dog-sit, but let’s face it — not everyone is as responsible or as caring as you are with your dog.
The service allows pet hosters to create a profile, advertise on the site, set their rates, and book clients. Pet owners can check out hosts who live near them, arrange a meeting before booking a stay, and if it works out, drop their dog in someone else’s home while they’re on vacation. DogVacay takes a percentage of the transaction.
The concept has made sense for plenty of pet owners, and co-founder and CEO Aaron Hirschorn said the user base is now “in the tens of thousands.” The startup launched in San Francisco and Los Angeles, but will now be available nationwide and in Canada.
What’s next for the promising startup? Hirschorn said he does own several pet domains, such as SnakeVacay, but he doesn’t see that in his immediate future. Instead he’ll work on scaling the business, building recognition for the product, and increasing offerings for users. He said they should have a mobile app coming soon.