Woof trading: HouseMyDog raises £206,480 in crowdfunding campaign

11 Sep 2017

From left: Brothers Timothy and James McElroy, founders of HouseMyDog. Image: NDRC

The success of this Irish start-up is not just any shaggy dog tale.

HouseMyDog has raised £206,480 (€226,951) in a crowdfunding campaign that began last week, surpassing an initial target of £180,000.

HouseMyDog is the brainchild of brothers James and Timothy McElroy. It aims to connect dog owners with locally vetted dog-sitters.

The NDRC-based start-up featured as a Start-up of the Week on Siliconrepublic.com two years ago.

The campaign began last week on Crowdcube with a pre-money valuation of £1.4m, and the brothers were offering early backers 12.46pc equity in the company. Crowdcube is the UK’s leading crowdfunding platform, with £338m invested by 364,000 registered investors. The platform has been successfully used by entrepreneurs such as London-based founder Jane Ní Dhulchaointigh of Sugru.

HouseMyDog plans to become the leading online pet services marketplace in Europe, and to provide dog owners with a convenient, trusted alternative to dog kennels.

Barking up the right tree

HouseMyDog is targeting a market worth more than £10bn in the UK and US alone. This is because pet owners refuse to use paid boarding solutions and are seeking alternatives.

Already operating across Ireland, the UK, and Germany, the company has more than 40,000 users and more than 48,000 nights booked to date.

According to the campaign, more than 1,000 are joining HouseMyDog each week and the business model is delivering a 300pc return on investment from acquiring each dog owner in the first 12 months.

Sitters are earning on average more than £1,000 per month, and the community’s top sitter has earned more than £30,000.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years