IPO

Dog-Sitting Platform Rover Readies For IPO

People love dogs. Not all people, but a lot of people.

If you want one on-demand, Bark’N’Borrow helps you borrow someone else’s dog for a few hours (or days, if you prefer), and there is the Internet of Pets.

It’s clear dogs have a market, and the market loves dogs.

One company that is dog-related is barking that it’s getting ready for its IPO. Seattle-based Rover is a dog-sitting platform that just announced a $40 million Series E round from investors Foundry Group, Menlo Ventures and Madrona Venture Group. Total funding to date is $91.5 million.

Rover started in 2011 and quickly became the go-to marketplace for pet sitting. There are 170 people employed by Rover, but 65,000 sitters are connected in 10,000 U.S. cities. More than 4 million services are booked on an annual basis.

Rover CEO Aaron Easterly said the company will likely show profitability by the end of next year. He also said going public “is our plan of record right now and by far the most likely outcome.”

It is important to note that Easterly won the CEO of the Year honor at the 2016 GeekWire Awards, so his accolades personally and related to Rover are growing.

In August, Rover announced that, during the first six months of 2016, the company surpassed an annual run rate of $100 million in gross billings. Easterly said that total revenue has grown threefold from 2015. The number of sitters has grown more than 50 percent annually as well.

That said, the $40 million, according to Easterly, isn’t necessarily needed to be profitable, but it doesn’t hurt.

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