We look at how Rover compares to its competition and where Blackstone might be going next in the pet care market.
The dog-walking company went public via a SPAC merger in 2021 at a $1.5B+ valuation.
Unlike many SPACs — which have seen lagging market performance following the maneuver’s 2021 boom — this merger actually created value.
Rover underscores how funding just buys you time, not the ability to execute.
It also gives a window into where Blackstone, one of the largest PE firms in the world, might be going next in the petcare market.
We dive in below.
Rover’s comps include Care.com and Wag! (Rover acquired DogVacay in 2017).
Care.com offers more than pet services but petcare is one of its SKUs.
Wag! is the clearest comp.
This is where we see how funding doesn’t buy the ability to execute.
Wag! also went public via SPAC and is now worth just $69M.
Wag! actually raised more than Rover ($361M vs. $311M) in the private markets.
But its valuation chart is essentially the opposite of Rover’s.
So same funding, same market tailwinds, and wildly different results.
Rover, the better company, got acquired by Blackstone for $2.3B.
Why did Blackstone acquire Rover?
At the highest level, the pet services market is recession-proof and growing.
There has been a lot of investment activity globally to companies that offer pet insurance (sometimes along with other insurance types) but this market and need is growing fast globally.
CB Insights customers can dig into these companies with this search.
We’d expect that Blackstone makes a big play into pet insurance — given the market and investor demand — using Rover’s existing install base of customers, its brand, and its team, which has executed.If you aren’t already a client, sign up for a free trial to learn more about our platform.