Growing up in an apartment in New York City means that I never had a dog. We had fish, and hamsters and cats, but a dog was just more work than my mother was willing to put in for a pet.
More recently, though, I've been introduced to the wonderful world of dogs, as just about everyone in my girlfriend's family seems to have one. Now I see just how much work they are! Every time her sister drives up here from LA, she has to take her dog with her on the six hour car ride. He's a little guy so it's pretty hard on him.
Maybe I should tell her about DogVacay, winner of the 2012 Vator Splash LA competition. The company is basically an AirBnB for dogs, where dog owners who need to skip town for a couple of days can browse hosts on DogVacay.com to find the ideal home away from home for their pets.
Note: You'll see DogVacay CEO Aaron Hirschhorn, and other great founders from The Honest Company, Whisper, TrueCar, and more) as well as hundreds of investors, media and tech executives. Register before mid-August to get 50% off the ticket price. It's a bargain. Register here.
So how does the company make money? Pretty simply, actually: DogVacay take a flat percentage of each transaction that occurs on the site.
"We have one revenue stream: when a Guest books a "vacay" for their pet (which can take the form of an overnight visit, an in-home visit, a walk, etc.), DogVacay takes a 15% cut of the transaction," a DogVacay spokesperson told me.
"This covers our operating expenses for providing the platform that allows Hosts to run their sitting businesses on DogVacay, as well as the liability and veterinary insurance we provide for each and every vacay."
While rates start at $25 a night, the hosts are then allowed to set their own rates at high as $100 per night. Payments are sent through PayPal and no direct payments are allowed, as they must go through DogVacay.com for the transaction to be covered by its insurance policy.
As a private company, DogVacay does not disclose specific revenue numbers.
Founded in 2012, the Santa Monica-based DogVacay has raised $22 million in funding, most recently taking in a $15 million Series B round this past October. Investors in the company include Foundation Capital, DAG Ventures, Sherpa Ventures, Benchmark, First Round Capital and Andreessen Horowitz.
The company has 15,000 Hosts across the country, and hundreds of thousands of Guests. It hit 500,000 total vacays back in May.
(Image source: petbucket.com)