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Love the idea of having a dog, but hate the guilt of leaving your pet behind during business trips or vacations?
Dog Vacay, the latest launch from L.A. incubator Science, speaks to exactly that problem, solving it with the power of crowdsourcing and an open marketplace.
A far cry from a kennel, Dog Vacay will put your pooch in a cage-free home where he or she will receive personal attention (and where you can get pictures and updates for your own peace of mind). Environments range from modest apartments to luxo pads with extensive grounds. You pick and pay for the home that’s right for your dog, and boarding services start at $15 per day.
Also, we snagged y’all a sweet 25 percent discount; read to the end for the code.
So, what’s a dog site write-up doing on a tech outfit like VentureBeat, you ask? We’ve been big fans of most of the companies coming out of Science, which was created by former MySpace CEO Mike Jones and Color co-founder Peter Pham. Other recent launches from Science have included Eventup, a marketplace for cooler-than-usual event venues, and Wittlebee, a subscription commerce solution for fashion-forward parents and their fortunate kids.
As Eventup CEO Tony Adam told VentureBeat in a recent interview, “Science is bringing infrastructure to LA that hasn’t been there before, including access to capital.” And Jones confirmed to us, “We’re gonna build a whole breed of businesses over the next year that are incredibly successful. I think Science will be a conduit for Silicon Valley investors to feel comfortable investing in Los Angeles.”
Dog Vacay might seem fluffy to some, but Jones and Pham told us they are looking for opportunities to build marketplaces. Fluffy or not, pet boarding and related services make up a $10 billion market, and currently, consumers have few enough options for meeting those needs. Between craigslist and Google searches, there was a lot of room for improvement — and a lot of opportunity for raking in some revenue, always at the top of an L.A. startup’s list of priorities.
The startup was founded by husband-wife team Aaron Hirschhorn and Karine Nissim Hirschhorn. In addition to providing a vacation-like boarding experience for dogs with insured and verified hosts, the startup will serve as a marketplace for other services, including training, walking, and pet massage, for example.
Doggie hosts are selected with a range of criteria in mind, such as background checks, completion of web-based training and emergency certifications, and interviews conducted by Dog Vacay staff.
“Vacations were always overshadowed with the guilt of leaving our dogs, Rocky and Rambo, in a caged kennel where they may not get the attention they need,” said Nissim Hirschhorn in a statement. “We believed there was a better way of caring for dogs, so we tested out the concept for Dog Vacay in our own home, and before we knew it, we had more clients than we could handle and decided to launch the Dog Vacay platform.”
To get 25 percent off your first booking, VentureBeat readers can use the code “SXSW” — don’t say we never gave you anything.
And here’s a video showing more about the service:
Top image courtesy of ck., Shutterstock