Rover pulls home dog trimming services from its market, citing tight labor market
Dog grooming is being cut from Rover’s market, at least for now.
Citing labor market challenges, the Seattle-based company on Monday confirmed that it will no longer provide home health care in 14 cities where it has expanded since. Released more than two years ago.
GeekWire learned of the decision this weekend from a Rover customer in Seattle who attempted to book a grooming appointment without success. The company issued this statement in response to our request:
“Through the grooming option offered on our platform in 14 cities, thousands of pet parents have arranged high-quality groomers for their pets. We’ve heard from many pet parents that they appreciate the opportunity to have their pet groomed by experienced service providers in the comfort of their own home.
“Dog grooming is technical and requires some specific skills, and there is currently a shortage of labor in this particular industry. Given the realities of that aspect of the labor market, we do not believe now is the right time to scale this offering. We will continue to investigate ways to address the grooming market opportunity in the future. “
Rover said it does not expect any layoffs related to the decision.
The Seattle-based company’s marketplace connects pet owners with service providers who can board, walk, or care for their pets, as often as they’re at the office or travel.
Rover launching dog grooming service in June 2019, after nine months of testing, starting in Seattle and Austin, Texas. The idea is to leverage Rover’s existing infrastructure to disrupt the $2.5 billion pet grooming industry, using its online scheduling and other marketplace features. .
Bringing grocers to the home promises more convenience for pet owners and comfort for pets.
But the service does not prove the financial viability for the company.
Rover CEO Aaron Easterly heralded the move in response to a question about the company’s November 8 earnings call. He said that Rover had paid great attention to grooming but not the desired return.
“With grooming, we are excited about the opportunity to address some of the pain points of pet parents. And the feedback on the demand side of that offering has been very positive,” Easterly said at the time.
He added, “That being said, we are not excited about the ability to scale the business in general and the profits that come with it. Therefore, we hope to look at alternative solutions to solve our customer’s difficult points in the future. “
This decision contrasts with the overall growth in Rover’s business.
Of the company revenue grew to $35 million in the third quarter, ended September 30, up 31% from the same period two years ago, before the pandemic. Total quarterly pre-orders increased 35% to $157.1 million in the same two-year period.
Rover is also expanding its business into other areas, focusing more on cat services such as boarding and shuttle services. Catering-related bookings increased 79% in the third quarter, compared with two years ago.
The company, bloomed a decade ago at a Startup Weekend event in Seattle, public release in August through a merger with Nebula Caravel Acquisition Corp., a publicly traded special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) funded by True Wind Capital. Rover has raised $240 million in the SPAC deal.
Rover posted a net loss of $84.5 million in the third quarter, which was largely due to cashless accounting adjustments related to that SPAC transaction.
Without those expenses, Rover posted an operating profit of $710,000 and adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) of $6.6 million, fourth quarter. two consecutive profits according to that calculation.