How this guy managed to turn his Startup Weekend idea into a $300M business…

Market services are notoriously challenging to launch.
No matter how cutting-edge your technology is, a marketplace cannot function without the participation of both sellers and buyers.
You need to find a way to develop and acquire them at the same time.

In this article, I’ll explain how, a website that connects pet owners with pet sitters and dog walkers, grew from zero to $300 million in revenue in just five years.

Firstly, In the Seattle Startup Weekend competition in June of 2011, a developer named Philip Kimmey proposed the idea for Rover. And ultimately prevailed.

Second, dog-lover and 15-year tech veteran with a focus on online marketplaces Aaron Easterly heard about the competition from Greg Gottesman, managing director at a VC firm. Aaron was promoted to CEO, and Greg was given a seat on the board.

Third, they went with a basic business plan, charging a flat 15% (later 20%) fee on all transactions.

Getting the first customers into the market was all about word of mouth, as the saying goes.

Then they started going to dog events and Seattle’s dog parks.

The next step was to engage pre-existing dog communities (offline and online on various social networks).

Seventh, they started out with a very high standard for potential sittees. The acceptance rate is extremely low (20%).

They started out only connecting sitters in Seattle and Portland, Washington, but by 2012 they had expanded to all 50 states.

Nineth, However, they soon found that many clients were also requesting grooming, walking, and other services for their pets while they were at the sitters’ homes.

9.2 That realisation led them to start offering pet sitting, grooming, daycare, and other related services.

As a result, the best babysitters can now earn $2, 000 to 5, 000 RMB monthly.
Every week, 10,000 new people sign up.
You can still book 90% of the hosts who have ever accepted a booking through the site.
The majority of sitters (95%) are rated as excellent.
Ninety percent of customers would recommend the service to friends and family.
A rise in sales of 2,700% in comparison to the previous year.



Scroll to Top