It’s been called ‘The Uber of dog-walking’, and for good reason. Now, after raising more than $361 million after five rounds of funding, Wag! seems well-positioned to expand even further.
An Idea From a Common Problem
Founded in 2014 by tech-veterans Joshua Viner, Jonathan Viner, and Jason Meltzer, the idea for Wag! came about when Josh was convinced by family and friends that due to his busy schedule he could not own a dog. The more Josh thought about this, the more he realized the problem was not unique. As a result, Josh and his brother Jonathan devised the idea for Wag!
How Wag! Works
The idea was simple – allow well-vetted, trusted, and certified dog-walkers to fill the gap. The first thing the team needed to develop was the app. Much like Uber, Wag! sends pet owners a notification when their pet’s walk has begun, and even allows them to watch in real-time a GPS tracking of the walk. Once the walk is complete, the dog owner receives a ‘report card’ letting the owner know exactly how long the walk lasted, how far the walk was, and even provides notes of what happened on the walk. After developing the app, the company then had to vet and hire a team of dog-walkers. Knowing that safety is paramount, all Wag! walkers are heavily vetted, researched, and trusted. With all the elements in place, the team then set the prices at $20 for a 30 minute walk, and $30 for a one hour walk.
Investors Are Convinced
All of this added up to a lot of interest from investors. A mere seven months after launching in 2014, Wag! closed a $2.5 million round of seed funding led by Freestyle Capital. Less than a year after that, recognizing the need for expansion, investors granted Wag! with an additional $4 million of Series-A funding, and followed that with a $15 million round of Series-B funding ten months later. Finally, in two subsequent rounds of large venture round funding, Wag! raised $40 million in 2017 with Battery Ventures, and $300 million with SoftBank in 2018. All of this adds up to over $361 million in funding raised.
Wag! Gives Back
The ancillary hope of the company is that more dogs will be adopted and rescued since the service allows more people to own pets. In addition, when the company launched, it even pledged to donate $0.10 to the Best Friends Animal Society for every mile walked. Along with dog walking, Wag! also provides overnight stays and boarding options as well. All of this amounts to a company you’re likely to hear much more about in the future!