GoFetch has raised a seed round: The Vancouver-based dog-sitting platform this week informed Techvibes that it has secured $1.4 million.
While the Canadian company did not disclose its investors, cofounder Willson Cross told us that the round values the startup at $7 million. According to Cross, the capital influx will be used to grow the company’s platform across Canada.
Through GoFetch, dog owners can discover, book, and manage personalized care for their dogs, including dog sitting, dog walking, in-home dog boarding, and doggy day care. The website offers premium pet insurance for all services booked through GoFetch, secure online payments, sitter ratings, chat, mobile apps, and government verification for walkers.
“With this injection of capital, we can accomplish our goals quicker and focus on winning the Canadian market,” says Cross. “It also gives us the ability to increase the speed of our technological development, introduce new product offerings to the market, and invest aggressively in customer acquisition and brand.”
In 2016, North Americans spent roughly $60 billion on their pets, according to research firm IBISWorld, which expects that number to increase by 7% annually through 2021. According to the American Pet Products Association, North American spending on pets from 2001 to 2016 has increased by 111%.
“Spending on companion animals, such as dogs, has been growing faster than almost any other consumer category,” notes Cross.
GoFetch now has 15 employees. Cross says his company intends to expand its reach internationally to markets such as the UK and the US, but not until it raises more capital, which it plans to do as soon as later this year.
“The investor appetite is incredibly healthy,” according to Cross. “We have seen unsolicited interest from major pet-retailers, hedge funds, angel investors, and tradition private equity and venture capital firms—who all share our mission to make pet ownership simple.”