Struggling dog-walking startup Wag reportedly explored selling to top rival Rover

(Wag Photo)

Dog-walking startup Wag has explored several options for a potential sale, including a deal with rival Rover, according to a new report.

Recode reported Wag is in talks with pet giant Petco about a deal. An alliance between the two companies would make sense as they have teamed up in the past.

Wag also approached its top competitor, Seattle pet care company Rover, about a sale. However, Recode reports that a deal between the rivals is unlikely to happen.

Wag got a major boost early last year when investment firm SoftBank sank more than $300 million into the company. However, the company has reportedly struggled since then, with The Wall Street Journal noting earlier this year that Wag’s sales growth remains behind that of Rover.

Wag declined to comment on a potential sale. However, CEO Hilary Schneider did say the company is being “highly intentional” about its strategy and growth.

“The senior leadership team is highly intentional with its direction of Wag, using a data-driven approach to guide strategy and growth, while also improving the customer experience,” Schneider said in a statement. “We’ve been focused on driving a scalable business with positive unit economics and have increased our contribution margin per walk by 3x since January 2018.”

GeekWire reached out to Rover, and we will update this story if we hear back. Update: Rover said it does not comment on rumors or speculation as a matter of company policy.

Rover, ranked No. 3 on the GeekWire 200, has surged in recent years. Since landing a massive $155 million funding round last year, Rover scooped up a big new headquarters, accelerated its expansion in Europe, entered Latin America and added services for cats. 

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