Swifto, a marketplace for dog walking that connects dog owners with vetted and screened walkers, brings a technology oriented approach to disrupt an exceptionally traditional market.
/ By Ilan Shavit /
Swifto takes dog walking controlling נט providing clients with the ability to view the route of their walker on a live map through an internal GPS tracking mobile application, and automating their operational back-end with a custom built web application.
Behind their technology oriented approach however, lies a culture obsessed with customer service and reliability; creating a strong and scalable foundation for a business that relies so heavily on trust.
The round from Benchmark occurred a while back, but was never announced to the public to prevent attracting competitors to a surprisingly large niche market. And the hesitation was right to be there; in just over a year the company is cash positive with a 20% month-to-month growth rate in revenue and projected yearly revenue to be in the 7 figures. Swifto plans to expand to Boston by the end of the year, and both Chicago and San Francisco in 2014.
The pet-care industry is a hidden gem; a $60 billion dollar opportunity with extremely concentrated markets in urban locations. New York City alone is estimated to have over 1 million dogs.
“The Swifto GPS tracking app sends clients a text at the beginning and at the end of a walk, a photo along the way, and allows owners to track a walker’s progress on a live map of Manhattan as the walker progresses through the route”, said the company’s founder, Penina First, a serial entrepreneur from Israel who first acquired seed funding from Swifto by winning multiple global business competitions.
A client gets a free Meet and Greet with a selected walker. Only after that meeting, and once a client deems a walker to be a perfect fit, do walks commence. Payment is taken care of automatically online via credit card, with all payments being processed by Stripe.
A 30-minute dog walk costs $20.