Wag!, an on demand dog walking app, recently raised $300 million from SoftBank Vision Fund. This marks the largest investment in the Wag! app since its start. Wag! launched its app in 2015, and began seeking investors for the industry transforming platform in 2017. Investors included approximately 10 investors in initial discussions, including NEA and Kleiner Perkins. Initial investors dropped out of discussions, leaving the door open for SoftBank, who had initially wanted to invest no less than $300 million. The popular app allows dog owners to connect with nation-wide professional dog walking and boarding services.
SoftBank invests in entrepreneurs, whose technologies offer opportunities to change existing industries. Wag! offers such an opportunity to investors seeking to invest in new technologies. Jeffrey Housenbold,Managing Partner of SoftBank Investment Advisers explained their reasons for investing in Wag!, and made it clear where he thinks the Wag! business model is going.
“Wag! is a clear leader in the rapidly growing global market for pet care services, and we’re delighted to support their mission and team.”
SoftBank has also invested in other companies offering technological advances, such as WeWork. They also invested in Didi Chuxing, Uber, Grab, and Katerra. SoftBank is not Wag’s only investor, though it is the company’s largest investor. Previous investors include General Catalyst, Battery Ventures, Freestyle Capital, Sherpa Capital, as well as others. Previous Wag! investments included combined amounts of $68 million.
The pet service app was originally launched in Los Angeles and New York City, and now has expanded to more than 100 cities. The growing popularity of the app allows pet owners to not only connect with, and hire professional dog walkers, but to also track the walk through live GPS mapping, embedded in the app. Pet owners may also obtain an activity report following the walk, and get a free lock box for convenient dog walker home access. The Wag! business app allows convenience to pet owners, as well as financial opportunities for investors in this ever expanding market.