Member News

Houlihan Lokey Advises DogBuddy

Houlihan Lokey is pleased to announce that® has acquired a majority share in DogBuddy. The transaction closed on October 30, 2018.
DogBuddy was founded in 2013 and has grown exponentially to become Europe’s leading online dog sitting community, with more than one million dog lovers already registered. With over 25,000 approved dog sitters using the service, DogBuddy helps to match dog owners with local and reliable dog sitters who provide home dog boarding, doggy day care, and dog walking across the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Sweden, Norway, and the Netherlands.
Founded in 2011 and based in Seattle, is the world’s largest and most trusted network of five-star pet sitters and dog walkers. Rover connects dog owners with pet care whenever they need it. Millions of services have been booked on Rover, including pet sitting, dog walking, in-home dog boarding, and doggy day care. As The Dog People™, Rover makes it easier for people to have dog love in their lives through the Rover Guarantee, 24/7 support, background checks, vet consultations, and GPS walk tracking. And by sharing expertise on—one of the world’s top dog blogs—Rover provides tips and articles that delight, inform, and enhance the bond between people and their pets.
Both Rover and DogBuddy have played a role in transforming the global pet care industry. In the United States, Rover has fundamentally changed the pet services landscape. With a new service booked every three seconds, Rover simplifies the way pet owners find and book pet care. As the largest community for dog boarding, day care, and walking in Europe, DogBuddy has been a trusted resource for owners, eliminating the need to rely on kennels or friends and family to care for their pets.
“We are incredibly pleased to welcome DogBuddy to the Rover family. We have a great deal of admiration for its leadership team, and what they’ve accomplished in becoming the leading player in Europe. While this transaction is a mutual fit for our strategic business priorities, we also share similar company cultures and values, and a passion for pets and the people who love them,” said Aaron Easterly, CEO of Rover. “Today’s announcement accelerates our international expansion plans and underscores Rover’s global leadership in the pet care space. With roughly 70 million dog-owning households and 31% of global pet spend concentrated in Europe, the market represents one of the largest populations of dog owners outside of the U.S.”
“I started DogBuddy to help dog owners with a very real challenge of removing obstacles to pet ownership,” said Richard Setterwall, Founder and CEO of DogBuddy. “We, like Rover, believe it should be easy for anyone to experience the joy of having a dog in their lives. Over the past five years, our community of trusted dog sitters has provided the most convenient way to access safe, reliable dog care services that match owners’ needs. I’m so proud to see how far we’ve come, and I’m even more excited to see what we can achieve together in the years ahead!”
Houlihan Lokey acted as the exclusive financial advisor to the sellers and assisted negotiating the transaction on their behalf. This transaction reinforces Houlihan Lokey’s strong global franchise in the pet services/products industry, as well as in the high-growth, disruptive, online direct-to-consumer space. 
If you would like more information about Houlihan Lokey or have questions regarding our role in this transaction, please contact one of the transaction team members listed.
Compliments of Houlihan Lokey, a member of the EACCNY