Wag!, a Los Angeles-based startup company with an app that assists dog owners in finding quality dog walkers instantly, has announced it raising a fund of $2.45 million seed round. The funding was led by Freestyle Capital and other participants that includes Crunchfund, Dave Morin’s Slow Ventures, Social Leverage and RRE.
The day its funding was announced also happened to be the official launch of the app Wag! in San Francisco. With Wag!, people looking for dog walkers for their dog can not only easily find one but also summon on in just 30 mins or can be scheduled for any time later. Also, the app allows its users to track the walks in real-time with the GPS and at the finish of the walk, the dog owner can get a summary report with the route map, picture of the dog, ‘pee and poo’ record along with other details that the owner may need to know. The company charges $20 per dog per 30 mins walk with extra $5 for an extra pet of the same owner.
Launched just four months ago in Los Angeles, the startup is already in high demand in cities around the country. Solitary and loneliness of the people whether elderly or young has boosted up the pet industry in the past few years with a projected estimation of $60.59 billion to be spent on it, in 2015. This rapid growth of the industry has given way and opportunities for n number of pet services and pet products. This is the result of ‘pet parenting’ attitude among the pet owners.
The recently raised fund would be used to step into more cities in the US markets and expand their business. It was launched in Los Angeles and now started up in San Francisco and expects to expand into various other cities. Also, the company plans to expand their product offering and services for the pet industry. The ultimate aim of the company is make it simpler to own a dog. “This is just the beginning,” said Meltzer, co-founder and Chief Dog Officer of the company. He added, “We are on our way to improving the lives of millions of dogs and dog owners.”
Josh Viner, the founder of the company stated, “We like to think of ourselves at the Uber of dog walking. Essentially, we have placed a trusted and insured dog walker in your pocket and for the first time your dog has its own app on your phone.” It was his feeling of ‘wanting to get a dog’ but the ‘uncertainty to give it some time’ due to its busy schedule gave way to the conception of the idea for his startup. His background in building consumer tech companies and marketing them to millions of users, helped him in building his company.
Despite of the competition it faces from Zingy and Swifto, Wag! stand ahead with its features that tracks and concerns about the safety of the dog, which would give some peace of mind to its owners. One nice aspect of the company is that the company donates 10 cents for every mile a dog walks with Wag! to the Best Friends Foundation.