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Brighton-based pet-sitting network lands $10M to fund US expansion

Brighton-based pet-loving community on a mission to create a world where pets enjoy their owners’ vacations just as much as they do, TrustedHousesitters has announced it has secured $10 million in Series A funding. The world’s largest pet-sitting network will utilise the funding to continue expanding into the US market. Despite travel restrictions over the last 18 months, the company is already seeing revenue at twice pre-pandemic levels.

Increase in global demand for pets

The pandemic witnessed huge increase in global demand for pets, with 3.2 million UK homes acquiring a pet over lockdown, according to the Pet Food Manufacturers’ Association annual pet population report, bringing the total number of UK pets to 34 million. In the US this has translated to a historic high of $8 billion spent on pet services including animal-sitting.

Value exchange between pet owners and pet sitters

As pet ownership increases, more people are seeking alternatives to boarding pets in unfamiliar environments that can cause stress and separation anxiety for animals and their owners. TrustedHousesitters enables a value exchange between pet owners and pet sitters – for £99 per year, owners have access to unlimited pet-sitting by a network of caring sitters who offer their services for a welcoming place to stay on their unique travel lifestyles and a shared love of pets.

4 million nights of pet sitting in 130 countries

Now, as travel – both international and domestic – opens back up and remote working is enabling more people to become digital nomads, the startup has seen over 30,000 new owner and sitter members since the start of 2021.

Founded in 2010, the house and pet sitting platform has now facilitated more than four million nights of pet sitting across 130 countries. The $10m from Rockpool Investments is the company’s first round of investment and will support the company to grow its membership base, with a particular focus on California.

Familiar and safe environment for pets

“We are excited to grow our membership base in the United States and across the world and assure new and existing pet owners that they can travel without worry by knowing a verified sitter is caring for their animals as if they were their own,” explained Mathew Prior, CEO of TrustedHousesitters. “Our sitters provide genuine one-to-one love and care in the comfort of the pets’ home, so owners don’t have to worry about making their beloved pets feel anxious about being separated from their own familiar and safe environment.”

US expansion on cards

“There is no better time than now to invest in a business with such huge growth potential as TrustedHousesitters,” said Guy Ellis, Investment Director at Rockpool. “To see a British company taking the initiative, allowing pet owners to travel with confidence as the world opens up once more, is just the sort of good-news story that everyone needs at the moment.”

In 2020, the startup was selected to participate in the Upscale programme run by Tech Nation. The company has also announced the appointment of Brock Weatherup to its executive board. As CEO of Metamorphosis Partners and PetCo’s former Executive Vice President, Weatherup has been a driving force in the US pet care industry and brings with him his expertise in this growth market and is also an investor in this Series A round.