Pet sitter finding service DogVacay gets more funding

Startup gets additional funding to expand its service that matches dogs whose owners are away with people willing to board them.

DogVacay helps people with dogs find temporary homes for their pets while they are out of town.
DogVacay helps people with dogs find temporary homes for their pets while they are out of town.

DogVacay, a startup that matches people who need a dog sitter with people who are interested in caring for dogs in their homes, is getting additional first round venture capital funding, the company was set to announce on Thursday.

The site, which reminds me of an Airbnb for boarding dogs, has received an undisclosed amount from Andreessen Horowitz, a VC firm that led a $112 million investment in Airbnb almost a year ago and has also invested in Facebook, Twitter and Zynga. DogVacay raised more than $1 million in a seed round of funding in March from First Round Capital, Science Inc., Ben Ling, Ted Rheingold, Quest Venture Partners, and Baroda Ventures.

Since launching four months ago, initially in Los Angeles and San Francisco, DogVacay has had tens of thousands of users and offers more than 4,000 hosts willing to board dogs in the U.S. and Canada, said Aaron Hirschhorn, co-founder and chief executive. The funding will be used to expand into additional major cities in North America, he said.

DogVacay offers pet owners an affordable alternative to traditional boarding businesses and kennels and a way for others to make some money and enjoy hanging out with a dog. "I call it collaborative consumption," Hirschhorn said. "We are matching supply and demand in a community marketplace for dog owners and we are saving them money."

One night in a San Francisco kennel can cost $55 and up, while many boarders on DogVacay charge $25 or so per night, according to Hirschhorn. The dogs get several walks a day and individual attention, and are free of cages. Their owners get photo updates, insurance, and a money-back guarantee.

 

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