Deals

Dog-related startup seeks funding, Andreessen Horowitz bites

Another big-time Silicon Valley name has been linked to SoCal’s premier incubator, Science.

The über VCs at Andreessen Horowitz have just invested in DogVacay, a sort of Airbnb for pets whose owners need to get out of town.

The startup took a $1 million seed round from First Round Capital and a handful of others; that deal was sealed back in March around the time of the official DogVacay launch. However, Andreessen Horowitz’s participation in the company’s funding takes it all to a whole new level.

“Having Andreessen Horowitz as ‘part of the pack’ gives us the incredible opportunity to leverage their deep domain knowledge in marketplace businesses from relevant investments like Airbnb,” said co-founder and CEO Aaron Hirschhorn in a statement this morning.

“Perhaps most importantly, the company shares our love of dogs and the desire to offer a better alternative to current boarding options.”

The exact amount of Andreessen Horowitz’s contribution to DogVacay’s funding has not been disclosed.

DogVacay buys traveling dog-owners a lot of peace of mind. Using the magic of crowdsourcing and an online marketplace, DogVacay will put your canine friend in a cage-free home where he or she will receive personal attention (and where you can get pictures and updates to ensure confirmation of proper treatment).

DogVacay sitters’ homes range from modest apartments to luxo pads with extensive grounds, and animal caregivers are thoroughly screened and certified by the company. The dog owner can choose and pay for the home that’s right for his or her dog’s needs. The company’services start at $15 per day.

The seemingly fluffy premise has real value to investors, though. Petsitting and pet care services are a multi-billion dollar market, and there’s not yet a clear winner in the business of offering humane, varied, and third-party approved petsitting options. The right market for the right services aimed at the right people could stand to make a killing.

DogVacay started out offering services in Los Angeles and San Francisco. The company recently opened its sit to all U.S. cities and also Canada. The new funds will be used to support and continue that geographical expansion.

Marketplace are something of a specialty at Science, the Los Angeles startup incubator founded by former MySpace CEO Mike Jones and Color co-founder Peter Pham. And as far as funding goes, Pham told us back in March he hopes to someday bring a billion dollar VC fund to SoCal.

Another Science startup, Eventup, just raised a $1.8 million round of funding led by Lightbank, the investment vehicle of Groupon founders Eric Lefkofsky and Brad Keywell.

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