A Glasgow start-up described as “Airbnb for pets” is targeting six-figure investment to support its global expansion plans.
Trust My Pet Sitter, a website and app to connect pet owners with people who can provide suitable home-based care for their animals, is aiming to follow in the footsteps of Scotland’s tech unicorns as it seeks six-figure funding from angel or venture capital investors.
Founded by mother-and-daughter team Angela Fagan and Sinead Fitzsimons, the start-up has already signed up users in 15 countries during its beta phase.
The service intends to fill the demand for finding high quality, in-home pet care, while turning pet sitting into a profession which will enable users to travel the world by staying in the owners’ homes.
Trust My Pet Sitter is designed to tap into two current trends: the growing focus on responsible pet ownership and the burgeoning sharing and gig economy, which has led to the rapid expansion of asset-sharing platforms such as Airbnb and Uber.
Fitzsimons, who is also digital marketing consultant, said: “We have had a very successful beta phase trial and attracted a passionate early user base from across the globe. This funding round will allow us to develop the platform further, grow our Scottish team and really put Trust My Pet Sitter on the map, in Scotland, the UK – and beyond.
"We’re delighted to be included in the growing number of female entrepreneurs who are bringing sharing economy ideas to life, like Debbie Wosskow, who sold her platform Love Home Swap for £40 million.”
Chief executive Fagan, who served in the Navy for more than a decade, has previously founded several ventures, including a non-governmental organisation and an internet filtering software.
She added: “Our two dogs Wolfie, a German Shepherd, and Phoebe, a Pomeranian, are the inspiration behind the idea of our business to find a better way for pets to be watched, stress-free and calm when away from their owners.”
The Scottish firm has teamed up with online veterinary service PawSquad which lets pet sitters video call or text chat with UK-registered vets for free at any time.
It has also joined forces with digital identity tool Yoti to verify ID across 130 countries within minutes, as part of its efforts to ensure safety and accountability.
The app provides criteria for matching human and pet compatibility, such as filtering by pet type, dog size, home type and location.