Geekwire: Dog sitting marketplace Rover.com laps up $7M from Foundry Group, others

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by JOHN COOK / Geekwire

KING5.com

Posted on February 4, 2013 at 12:41 PM

Online dog sitting marketplace Rover.com just fetched $7 million in fresh funding, including new cash from Brad Feld’s Foundry Group. The money comes three months after Rover.com’s primary rival, DogVacay, scored $6 million from Benchmark and others. It also follows a $3.4 million round in Rover.com last year.

Formed at a Startup Weekend by venture capitalist Greg Gottesman, Rover.com is now led by advertising vet Aaron Easterly. He said the new money would help Rover.com expand geographically, and add new services for pets.

Rover.com also is expanding beyond dog care, with Easterly noting that cat owners have already begun using the service and, interestingly enough, they recently accommodated for the first time a stay with a pot-bellied pig.

Rover.com, which helps pet owners find trusted pet sitters, said that more than 100,000 dog owners have participated in the site to date. The service is now available in 4,300 cities, with more than 1,000 pet sitters in each of the top U.S. markets.

As a result of the deal, Foundry Group’s Brad Feld, a Golden Retriever owner, is joining the board. It marks Foundry’s fifth investment in the Seattle area. The firm also is a backer of SEOMoz, Cheezburger, BigDoor and Gist, which was acquired by BlackBerry.

Feld writes in a blog post about the Rover.com deal:

Specifically, we aren’t interested in investing in any two-sided marketplace. Instead, we are looking for ones that have a very clearly defined inefficiency around “remnant assets”, or assets that expire if not used in a timely fashion. We’re also looking for ones that have huge under-accessed supply or demand, where mobile and location have an immediate impact on utilization, and where existing transaction friction – either as a result of process or trust – exists. Rover.Com was the first of over 100 companies we’ve seen in the last three months that fit these criteria.

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