I first heard of a dog called Rover in Roverandom by J.R.R Tolkein, but this article is not a book review about a mobile app called Rover that connects dog walkers with dog parents. Rover is an app for pet lovers by pet lovers. We often get a pet to spice up and toss a dollop of love into our otherwise busy and mundane lives but soon understand that we cannot spend enough time with them. Things get worse when we can’t even take them out for a walk, which is where Rover comes flying in—ok, I think I got distracted by the book again.
What is Rover? How does it work?
Rover brings pet-parents and pet sitters together on one innovative platform. Pet parents get to choose a pet sitter according to reviews, and pet sitters can earn money by caring for other people’s pets. It is a win-win for everyone! Rover provides its customers and sitters with 24/7 customer support and vet consultation, mobile apps, photo sharing, videos of stay highlights, and sitter background checks. The app has over 500,000 registered sitters who care for, walk or sit dogs for busy pet parents worldwide.
What is RoverGo?
RoverGo is a platform for individuals who have just joined Rover. These individuals work more, get more bookings and more clients than regular sitters—helping them create their own dog-sitting business, but end up paying an additional 5% as commission to Rover. This is in exchange for a boost in search rankings, a welcome package with thank you cards and t-shirts, complimentary background checks, and professionally written profiles. Sitters with RoverGo earn $100+ more each month compared to regular sitters.
To put things into perspective (and numbers), pet sitting is a growing industry that generated over $332 million in 2014 and will be worth over $5b by 2027 at a CAGR of 8.7%. Although at 40%, dog sitters hold the largest piece of the pet sitting pie and are the most sought-after service after dog transportation and dog grooming. This makes dog walking and sitting apps like Rover just waiting to be a part of the $131b pet care industry!
Rover is quite popular—and you can see this in the $360m investment that the app has secured in its two funding rounds. The last two investments were $30 million in debt financing in 2018, led by Silicon Valley Bank, and a $125 million round of Series G funding, led by T. Rowe Price. Valued at over $1.35 billion, the company went public via SPAC in February 2021 with over $300m in unrestricted cash in hand.
Why is Rover so popular?
Our busy lives made Rover popular. As we focused more on our work and our lifestyles, our furry friends took a backseat—which is where Rover came in. The market has picked up again since offices started opening up post the first pandemic-induced lockdowns, giving Rover’s popularity a much-deserved boost. Additionally, Rover performs background checks on all sitters, making it safe for your pup. Additionally, as the app primarily showcases sitters around you, the chances of your dog being with someone you already know are pretty high. Coupled with world-class 24×7 support and vet consultations, Rover is every pet parent’s dream come true.
How does Rover make money?
Rover had over $300m as unrestricted cash in its balance sheet when it went public in 2021. These earnings came from Rover’s two primary monetization methods:
Service fee: This is an amount charged to each pet parent when they use Rover’s services. The service fee is currently at 5-7% of the booking amount.
Commission: Rover charges dog sitters and walkers a 20% commission from each transaction. However, older dog sitters (pre-2015) pay 15%, and sitters with RoverGo pay Rover a 25% commission.
Rover uses its commission to improve the website and app, expand its Trust and Safety team for 24×7 emergency support and create an online repository for dog sitters and parents.
What services does rover offer?
Rover offers four different services that include:
Ideal for those who need to keep their dog with a sitter overnight or for an extended period.
- Dog walking
This works for those who only want their pooch taken for a walk when they are at work.
- Doggy daycare
Perfect for day-long stays, this option works best for those who are out at work all day and need their dog cared for all through.
- House sitting and drop-in visits
It is perfect for those who need someone to care for their dog in their own homes instead of dropping the dog off at the carer’s place.
How does Rover work for dog sitters and walkers?
Rover is perfect for anyone who loves dogs and wants to make money while playing with pets. Rover lets sitters get paid to play with pets and connects them with the largest network of pet owners. In short—Rover helps them earn money from doing something they love!
Rover offers flexibility for dog sitters and walkers by allowing them to:
- Choose the combination of pet care services on offer
- Set their own schedule and rates
- Set their own size, age and other pet preferences
Additionally, Rover offers the Rover Guarantee that promises up to $25,000 in vet care reimbursement, a world-class app interface and 24×7 support that includes vet assistance in the case of need.
Signing up with Rover or RoverGo is simple. All sitters need to do is create their profile, accept requests they get and start getting paid. It’s that simple!
There are many apps in the pet-sitting and pet-walking space that compete with Rover for market share. Popular examples include:
Wag is Rover’s main competitor and offers on-demand dog walking as its main service. Now offering sitting and boarding to compete with Rover, Wag’s quickly catching up with its competition and offers a “two-button walk”—making it supremely convenient to schedule walks. Coupled with poo and pee emojis for the post-walk experience, Wag has its own set of followers who just cannot switch.
Petsnflats is a different take on Pet boarding. If you’re a dog or cat owner going out of the city, guests visiting your city can stay at your place and take care of your pets, making it a community of pet lovers.
Pawshake offers a very similar experience to Rover and adds insurance coverage for each visit.
Fetch matches you to the most qualified sitter in your area who is available for the slot you’ve picked.
Care offers pet sitting, walking and grooming services as a part of a package where sitters and groomers respond to your ad.
Creating an app like Rover—is it worth it?
With 35% of households in the US alone owning at least one dog, pet sitting apps are looking at serving an underserved need. Everyone who owns a dog needs to walk it, and those looking to go for a vacation might not always find a pet-friendly place to go to. This is where apps like Rover come in.
Considering the rapid growth of the pet industry and the staggering growth of apps like Rover and Wag, creating an app like Rover is a great idea. Connecting those requiring pet walking and pet sitting with professional walkers and pet sitters is a fantastic service that pays great rewards—to the tune of 25% of the total order value in some cases.
Although the market is competitive, there is always space for an innovative and disruptive player to shake up the walk-o-sphere with an innovative idea.
How can Volumetree help you?
We love pets, and we understand what pet owners need. Coupled with our vast industry experience and our portfolio that boasts of apps used by millions of users, we’re the partner your app needs to succeed. Our vast talent pool consists of developers, testers, designers, systems engineers, data scientists, business analysts, and project managers to help you create a ground-breaking app engineered for success.
Schedule a free 15-minute meeting with our product experts to know more about how we can help you create an app like Rover.