Fintech & e-commerce Public Markets SPAC

Pet Care Marketplace Rover To Go Public Via SPAC

Online pet care marketplace Rover announced Thursday that it plans to go public through a merger with Nebula Caravel Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company, or SPAC, backed by True Wind Capital.

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The transaction is expected to close in the first half of this year, after which the combined company’s securities will trade on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol ROVR.

The business combination will value Seattle-based Rover at an enterprise value of approximately $1.35 billion. The transaction is expected to yield an equity market capitalization at closing of approximately $1.63 billion, and for the combined company to have more than $300 million of unrestricted cash on the balance sheet.

Rover connects pet owners with local pet care providers who offer services, including boarding, in-home pet sitting, doggy daycare, dog walking, drop-in visits and grooming. Since being founded in 2011 by Aaron Easterly, Greg Gottesman and Philip Kimmey, more than 2 million customers have booked a service on Rover with over 500,000 pet care providers across North America and Europe. Easterly, CEO, will continue to lead Rover following the merger.

In the past decade, the company raised $310.9 million in known venture capital rounds. Its most recent investments were $30 million in debt financing in 2018, led by Silicon Valley Bank, and a $125 million Series G round of funding, also in 2018, led by T. Rowe Price. Other backers include Spark Capital, Foundry Group and Menlo Ventures.

Last year was reportedly the “year of the SPAC,” but 2021 seems to be ready to rival that designation. Rover is the latest company to enter the public markets via a SPAC, which last week saw both consumer genetic testing and research company 23andMe and Astra, a developer of rockets and provider of satellite launch services, announcing their intentions to go public through a merger with a SPAC.

Even other pet companies are getting in on the SPAC mania. In December, BarkBox, a monthly subscription-based e-commerce and content company for dog owners, announced its intent to merge with Northern Star Acquisition Corp. in a $1.6 billion deal that will take the company public.

Illustration: Dom Guzman

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