From Bloomberg via the Charlotte Observer:
Investors are searching for online companies with success like those that have dented the taxi and hotel industries.
Some investors fueling the competition between ride-sharing services Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc. are supporting rivals in pet-sitting, seen as potentially the next success story in the sharing economy.
Rover.com of Seattle on Thursday announced a $25 million investment, bringing its total funding to more than $50 million. That puts it ahead of DogVacay.com of Santa Monica, California, which said it has raised $47 million. The pet-sitting startups are another example of the way people are using their cars, homes and spare time to provide services and earn money through marketplaces such as Uber, Airbnb Inc. and Instacart Inc.Possibly related:
People own 83.3 million dogs and 95.6 million cats in the U.S., according to the American Pet Products Association. Pet owners will spend $2.7 billion on boarding this year, according to market researcher IBISWorld, though investors such as David Yuan said the figure doesn’t include millions of owners who rely on friends and family rather than a kennel.
“People see dogs and cats as their children and they don’t want to put them in a cage,” said Yuan, general partner at Technology Crossover Ventures in Palo Alto, California, which led the $25 million round for Rover.com.
Investors put $4.93 billion into 71 deals in 2014 related to the sharing economy, up fivefold from the previous year, according to a January report by AGC Partners. The backers are searching for online companies with success like those that have dented the taxi and hotel industries.
For instance, Andreessen Horowitz in Menlo Park, California, has investments in Lyft and DogVacay.com. Neighboring Menlo Ventures has money in Uber and Rover.com. Sherpa Ventures in San Francisco put money in Uber and DogVacay. Even actor Ashton Kutcher, an Uber backer, invested in Rover. Bloomberg LP, the parent of Bloomberg News, is an investor in Andreessen Horowitz....MORE
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