DogBuddy, a pan-European online marketplace for dog sitting, has closed €5 million in Series A funding, money it plans for further expansion. Backing the London-headquartered startup in this round is existing investor Sweet Capital, the investment fund started by the founders of King.com, and a number of new unnamed private investors. It brings total raised by DogBuddy to €10 million.
Acting as a typical online marketplace, connecting supply with demand in as frictionless a way as possible, DogBuddy enables dog owners in the U.K., Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Sweden and Norway to easily “find a loving home away from home” for their dogs when they go away on weekends, longer holidays, business trips or have to work long hours. Services offered by dog sitters include walking, day sitting and full board.
The platform lets you browse vetted sitter profiles, look at pictures (including of people’s homes), read customer reviews, and book and pay online. As a further incentive to do so, services booked through DogBuddy are covered by insurance and emergency support. As I’ve noted before — when DogBuggy merged with Spanish rival Bibulu — this is a trust play as much as anything else.
Richard Setter, founder and CEO of DogBuddy, says strong growth in Sweden over the past year and the successful launch of Norway in January, serves as a good base to launch in more European countries in the coming months. “With this continued support and backing from our investors, we’ll be able to help make life easier for even more owners throughout Europe,” he says.
Along with its London HQ, the company has offices in Stockholm and Barcelona. It claims 500,000 dog owners have registered with the app, and over 30,000 approved dog sitters are on the platform. In addition to geographical expansion, DogBuddy says it will invest further in marketing to raise awareness of home dog boarding, doggy daycare and dog walking amongst dog owners.