By Michael Teich
The so-called Airbnb for pets is welcoming cats to the family. Rover, which pairs pet owners with dog sitters and dog walkers, is launching new services to cater to the cat market.
"About 25 percent of our customers already own a cat, and we weren't doing a great job of servicing that demand," CEO Aaron Easterly told Cheddar in an interview Thursday. "There are more cats in the U.S. than dogs, so it's a logical expansion for us."
The global pet market is projected to grow to more than $200 billion by 2025, and Rover sees the rollout of new services making it easier for pet owners to book cat sitters as a key way to capture a significant portion of the growing industry. In its three-month beta testing period, Rover says the platform raked in nearly $4 million in cat specific billings. Rover expects pet owners to spend $500 million on the platform in 2019, and Easterly believes focusing on houses that own both cats and dogs will be an important factor in achieving that goal.
"The most lucrative part of the pet industry is actually the multi-pet households. It turns out 40 percent of people that own a dog also own a cat."
Rover raised $155 million in Series G funding in May 2018 at a reported $970 million valuation. While he did not rule out a future IPO, Easterly emphasized the company was still in the early stages of growth.
"We think we're still in Inning 2 or 3 of a 9-inning game," he said. "But that's always possible at some point."
For full interview click here.