Our Investment in Rover.com

by Brad Feld

We are pleased to announce that we have led a $7m Series B financing in Rover.com, the leader in digital dog boarding that connects dog owners with approved, reviewed, and insured sitters. In addition to making our dogs Brooks, Bear, Einstein, and Mosley happy, we are excited to be funding another great Seattle-based company as well as a company to emerge from a Startup Weekend (where Brad is a board member.)

Rover.com fits in our new marketplace theme. In this theme, we are searching for situations that have an inherent suppressed supply as well as a demand – the market needs to work for both participants.  We’re particularly intrigued with markets where the goods or services in question exist already, where full demand has been difficult to obtain on an individual basis. Finally, we are concerned with time – we want assets that expire if not used. We think of this type of market as “remnant asset monetization.”

Rover.com is a perfect example of this type of a marketplace. The existing solution for dog sitting, which consists of kennels and private dog boarding, is a very large annual market ($10b+). However, less than 20% of all dog owners end up using one of these solutions as the vast majority of dog owners are not comfortable with these solutions. As a result, we estimate there is a $50b+ “shadow market” of either privately arranged dog sitters, friends and family, or unmet dog sitting capacity. In short, a perfect opportunity for remnant asset monetization.

If you, like us, view your dog as a member of your family, take a look at Rover.com the next time you leave home and need to find a sitter for your dog. Your dog will love you for it.