This story appears in full in the March/April 2016 issue of Middle Market Growth.
Rover.com, a 4-year-old startup backed by venture capital, is betting its online technology can build a market in the burgeoning area of pet care services.
Among the biggest hurdles for dog owners is finding trustworthy caretakers, says CEO Aaron Easterly. He contends many pet parents simply don’t trust the level of care provided by commercial services such as kennels.
Rover, which matches pets with individuals willing to care for the animals in their own home, is aiming to bridge the gap. Easterly, himself a longtime dog owner, never entrusted his pooch to commercial care; his struggles to persuade friends and family to pick up the slack when he left town were part of the impetus for the business.
“The kennel and boarding market is a pretty big market, but I bet I’m not alone,” Easterly recalls thinking. “I bet I’m not the only dog owner in the world who refuses to even look at that industry.” […]