Rover.com Unveils Expansion Plans
Seattle-based Rover.com, an online dog sitter marketplace, today unveiled its plans to enter the Los Angeles, Cleveland and Washington, D.C., markets by the end of May and “dozens” more markets by the end of 2012.
Much like L.A.-based rival Dog Vacay, which raised $1 million in March to expand, Rover.com is a venture capital-based start-up that is positioning its services as an “affordable” alternative to traditional kennels.
In April, Rover.com closed a $3.4 million financing round led by Madrona Venture Group and CrunchFund and promptly entered the New York market. The funding is intended to support Rover.com’s expansion.
Rover.com plans to enter the Los Angeles, Cleveland and Washington, D.C. markets by the end of May 2012.
To date, Rover.com reports being established in more than 800 cities with more than 20,000 members (service users and providers).
Rover.com provides dog sitters a venue to promote their services and allows dog owners to book these services, with Rover.com charging a 3-15 percent fee for arranging the transaction. Pet sitters can either stay in the dog owner’s home or bring the dog into their own home.
Nightly costs typically range between $10 and $75.
Rover.com also announced its “Sit a Dog, Save a Life” fund-raising program in April. The program allows sitters to donate a portion of their proceeds participating dog-related charities, including PAWS NY, Animal Haven, VolunteerMatch and RedRover.
In related news, Sacramento-based RedRover, an animal welfare group that helps animals through emergency sheltering, disaster relief services and financial assistance, launched its 2013 Pet Smiles Calendar Photo Contest today. The contest, which runs through July 25, 2012, raises funds for the group by charging the public for opportunities to vote in the contest.
Proceeds of the contest will benefit the RedRover Relief program, which provides money to pet owners, animal rescuers and others caring for animals in life-threatening situations, including helping domestic violence victims escape abusive environments with their pets.
“Our goal is to raise $25,000 in honor of our 25th anniversary so that our RedRover Relief program can provide more than 150 pets with desperately needed emergency veterinary care,” said Nicole Forsyth, RedRover’s president and CEO.
Winning entries will be featured in the group’s 2013 Pet Smiles Calendar. The overall winner will receive a $200 gift card to Olive, an online retailer of dog and cat products. Second- and third-place winners will receive their choice of a custom dog house by Detroit Made or a cat tower by Cat-Power-Tower.com. RedRover requested other companies interested in donating promotional prizes to call the group at 916-429-2457.
Contest rules are available at the group’s website.<HOME>http://www.veterinarypracticenews.com/images/vpn-tab-image/map-la-clev-dc-300px.jpg7/10/2012 2:54 PM