Rover.com, an online marketplace that connects dog owners with local dog sitters as an affordable, cage-free alternative to traditional kennels, announced today plans to launch in dozens of U.S. markets by the end of 2012.
The expansion will aid consumers in high-demand markets by equipping them with resources to find dog sitters in their local area, eliminating the need for costly and less personal boarding services. Rover.com will kick-off this next wave of market penetration in Cleveland, Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles by the end of this month.
“We saw explosive growth in the use and interest around Rover.com during our initial launch in the Seattle market. We’ve since expanded into several other cities and have continued to receive demand for our services from both dog lovers and dog sitters across the U.S.,” said Aaron Easterly, CEO of Rover.com. “We’re excited to take a big leap in addressing this need by making an aggressive launch spanning across the U.S. Our expansion will allow us to continue to be seen and used as a true resource for dog owners and sitters alike who are looking for a unique solution.”
The market rollout comes on the heels of Rover.com’s announcement of closing a $3.4 million round of Series A financing led by Madrona Venture Group. The funding helped spur the widespread national expansion.
Rover.com is already established in over 800 cities across the U.S., with more than 20,000 members. Members of the site also have the chance to raise money in support of dog-related charity organizations. Through Rover.com’s Sit a Dog, Save a Life™ program, sitters are able to donate all or a portion of their dog-sitting proceeds to participating charities such as VolunteerMatch, RedRover, PAWS NY and Animal Haven.
“By expanding our business into new markets we are not only enabling a broader consumer base to find a better solution for their dog boarding needs, but we’re also empowering them to make a larger impact in the pet and dog community through our Sit a Dog, Save a Life™ program,” said Easterly. “We believe this innovative program will help better serve our local communities and truly resonates with Rover.com’s vision that it’s all for the love of our dogs.”
With the nightly cost of Rover.com sitters and hosts ranging from $10 to $75, dog owners are able to find a plan that works to fit all budgets and travel schedules. The site also provides the option to either host a dog at a sitter’s personal residence or travel to the dog owner’s home, working to accommodate the needs of everyone involved…including the dog.