Deals

Rover.com grabs $3.4M for online dog-sitting reservations

The latest Airbnb clone, Rover.com, has decided to cater to our four-legged friends instead of humans and raised $3.4 million to help you hire a local dog sitter while you’re away.

You can use Airbnb to find a place to stay on vacation, so you might as well use a similar service to make sure you beloved pet is taken care of while you’re gone. Rover.com, which seems like an upgrade from finding a local neighbor kid to make sure your dog is fed while you’re on vacation, asks you to upload a picture and description of your furry friend. Then you hunt around for a qualified pet sitter and make a reservation. Someone will either come to your house to stay with your dog, or you can bring your pet to the sitter’s house. Rover.com handles payments and even has its own currency, which can be exchanged for future services on the site.

“In the past, dog owners had limited choices for dog care, and those choices weren’t appealing,” said Rover.com chief executive Aaron Easterly in a statement. “You could board your dog in a kennel, which can be stressful for your dog and expensive, or you could rely on friends or family, which is not always convenient and can feel like an imposition.”

If the idea of giving your dog over to a complete stranger terrifies you, rest assured that Rover.com uses a “Five Point Quality Assurance” rating to find the best people for your pet. Even still, with services like Rover.com and Airbnb, you’ve got to keep in mind that bad situations can happen. It’s one thing to rent out your home to strangers for a few days; damage can be repaired and stolen items can be replaced. But it’s another to let someone watch your dog, which if you’re like me, you consider to be family. Still, Rover.com maintains that dogs would rather be in a home than a kennel and its basing its business on that idea.

Seattle-based Rover.com was started in 2011, has nine employees, and has served the Seattle area for the last year. Today, Rover.com is launching nation-wide and its “Rover Barkline,” a 24-hour help line for emergencies.

Madrona Venture Group of Seattle led the funding round, along with CrunchFund and other angels. The company is using the money to expand its service around the country.

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