Many will simply leave their dogs at home alone when away (or drop them off at the kennel if you are going to be away for a while), but others may opt for a dog sitter. In Western Europe, startup DogBuddy has taken off as one of the leading marketplaces for finding a reliable sitter for your dog, claiming 100K users and 10K approved sitters since launching back in February 2013. DogBuddy is actually a combination of competing dogsitter marketplaces, as the company emerged several weeks ago out of Barcelona-based Bibulu and London-based MyDogBuddy.
DogBuddy offers a pretty standard P2P marketplace, allowing sitters to list their own price and connect with locals in need of assistance. Not just anyone can sign up to be a sitter, however, as DogBuddy says that they verify that candidates are experienced with dogs and can provide a suitable temporary home. One of the nicer aspects of the service is that they offer complementary pet insurance, as well as access to a 24/7 vet line in case of emergency. Like other marketplaces, DogBuddy says that they generate revenue on a commission basis, taking 15% from each booking that that they facilitate.
At the time that DogBuddy revealed the merger, they made a significant funding announcement, as well, revealing that they have picked up 1.9 million Euro in new funding from a group that includes BetaAngels, Caixa Capital Risc, Ever Smarter WW, and Andrin Bachmann. With the new funding, the company announced that they plan to expand into new markets and to continue to develop their core product. As part of the merger, Bibulu founder Enrico Sargiacomo becomes COO of the new company (working out of Barcelona), while MyDogBuddy founder Richard Setterwall will remain as CEO out of London.