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VCs Open Their Wallets For Man’s Best Friend

Just when it appeared that investors were losing interest in pet startups, DogVacay announced a record-setting $25 million Series B1 round to bring pet tech to the forefront of the startup scene.

It’s not as trivial as it sounds – Americans dished out over $55 billion in pet expenses last year alone, buying food, products and services for an estimated 95 million cats and 83 million dogs. This year’s total is expected to surpass $60 billion.

The first quarter of 2014 saw a spike in venture funding, as pet startups raised over $40 million in 10 venture rounds, but in the following months action has been sparse on the pet tech front with only $20 million in capital committed since April.

DogVacay’s latest funding is the largest single round raised by a pet startup to date, challenged only by Beijing-based pet product hub Boqii’s Series B raised back in March.

The new cash has boosted DogVacay into the top-funded pet tech startup slot to displace dog-sitting network Rover and push runner-up Boqii down to third.

Which VCs are the most concerned with catering to man’s best friend?

Benchmark, Slow Ventures and 500 Startups have all backed multiple pet-related startups. Even Nas and Carmelo Anthony have gotten in on the pet game recently.

If DogVacay is the Airbnb for dogs, BarkBox is the BirchBox for dogs, and Whistle is the Fitbit for dogs – what’s next? Where’s the Uber for dogs?

Oh wait.

Photo via Flickr user Found Animals Foundation.

  • Originally published November 11, 2014