Mad Paws presents a unique spin on the idea of creating a “sharing economy”. Even though there are many business opportunities within this market for services and goods people might need, animals and pets deserve their share of the love, too. Combining the concept of Airbnb with pet services has netted Mad Paws US$1.1m from investors so far.
Mad Paws – A Sharing Economy Business Model For Pets
If you have ever owned a pet, there is no worse feeling than having to leave it behind for an extended period of time. Granted, there will be people taking care of your pet in your absence – usually a neighbour or family member – but it’s still not a fun feeling. An alternative option is to bring them to a “pet hotel”, where they can relax and have fun with other pets until you return home.
As great as both of these options may be, they are not always available to everyone at the right time. The sharing economy could play a major role in making pet caretaking services available to consumers who otherwise would have no access to outside help. Mad Paws is trying to achieve that goal and the recent US$1.1m in funding will help the initiative grow.
As is usually the case with these types of new business, the sprout came from being in a situation where a friend was out of options in terms of pet-caretaking. Mad Paws CEO Alexis Soulopoulos pet-sat a friend’s Labrador while he was travelling. After all, the idea of connecting people who enjoy taking care of pets, with those in need of pet-caretaking, seems a no-brainer.
Among the investors partaking in this US$1.1m round of funding are notable names, such as Commonwealth Bank Group Executive Matt Comyn, Macdoch Ventures, and Amazon Web Services managing director Paul Migliorini. None of these people would have invested in Mad Paws if the company hadn’t been successful so far though.
By employing only vetted sitters, pet owners can rest assured their loyal companion will be in good hands during their absence. Mad Paws will take a 15% cut of the sitter’s fee, which seems to be a rather fair amount. Other than that, there are no fees associated with using the Mad Paws ecosystem, as both pet sitters and pet owners can use the service free of charge.
At the time of publication, Mad Paws has registered over 3,500 pet sitters in Australia. Pet owners can meet and greet with their pet sitter, and even choose between booking a stay at their house, or at the home of the customer. Once a “contract” has been agreed upon, pet owners will receive text and photo updates, as well as free insurance and, if needed, direct access to customer support.
This recent round of seed funding will be used to expand the company’s marketing efforts and growing the team, especially in the customer support department. As services like Mad Paws grow larger, customer support has to be top notch at all times, and CEO Alexis Soulopoulos will focus on this department.
Using Blockchain Technology For Pet Updates?
The technological side of platforms such as Mad Paws may not be of direct worry for the customers, but they certainly are for the people running the company. Providing status updates and photos of pets is an integral part of making this company successful and adequate technology has to be used to make it all possible
Considering these companies are part of a sharing economy, where everything is decentralized, it only seems to make sense they use decentralized technology. Bitcoin’s blockchain is a transparent ledger that can be used for other purposes besides recording financial transactions. Sharing data, creating smart contracts between pet owner and pet-sitter, the possibilities are endless.
Source: Tech in Asia
Images courtesy of Mad Paws, Shutterstock