Fundings and Exits

On-demand dog walking app Wag raises $300 million from SoftBank Vision Fund



The SoftBank Vision Fund has struck again. This time, it’s investing $300 million in on-demand walking and dog care startup Wag. Wag has also brought on Hilary Schneider, formerly of identity theft protection company LifeLock, to serve as the company’s new chief executive officer.

Last year, Wag was reportedly in talks with a handful of investors, including NEA and Kleiner Perkins, The Information reported last week. SoftBank was interested, but reportedly didn’t want to invest in a round less than $300 million. That’s when NEA and Kleiner Perkins reportedly dropped out.

Wag, which launched back in 2015, offers on-demand walking and boarding for pups. The startup initially launched in Los Angeles and New York City before expanding to more than 100 cities across the country.

“We’re thrilled to have a strategic partner in SoftBank, and welcome their experience scaling leading technology companies through their global vision and operating expertise,” Wag co-founder Joshua Viner said in a press release.

Wag, however, has received some heavy criticism for, you know, losing dogs and fighting with customers, Bloomberg reported in October. Given the Vision Fund’s massive investment, it seems as if SoftBank is not fazed.

“The SoftBank Vision Fund invests in entrepreneurs who are leveraging the latest technology to transform existing industries and create new ones,” SoftBank Investment Advisers Managing Partner Jeffrey Housenbold said in a press release. “Wag! is a clear leader in the rapidly growing global market for pet care services, and we’re delighted to support their mission and team.”

Last year, SoftBank raised $100 billion for its Vision Fund and proceeded to invest in 44 funding rounds with a total of $30.7 billion, according to CrunchBase. Some of that money has gone to WeWork, ride-hailing companies Didi Chuxing, Grab and Uber, and most recently, construction startup Katerra.

Wag had previously raised $68 million from Battery Ventures, General Catalyst, Sherpa Capital, Freestyle Capital and others.

Featured Image: Michael Seeley/Flickr UNDER A CC BY 2.0 LICENSE



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