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With a $5 million investment, the dog-walking app wars are heating up

With a $5 million investment, the dog-walking app wars are heating up
[Photo: Matt Nelson/Unsplash]

North Korea and the United States may be sitting down for talks, but war is still a possibility–at least in the dog-walking app world.

Qantas Airlines has just invested $5 million into the dog-walking app Mad Paws, an Australia-based startup that connects dog walkers and pet sitters with pups (and owners) in need, TechCrunch reports.

The move comes in the wake of Softbank’s Vision Fund throwing dog-walking app Wag a very big bone in the form of a $300 million investment.

Qantas and Mad Paws had previously partnered by letting Mad Paws members earn Qantas points on their site. Qantas said that investing in the app made sense, because “nearly two-thirds of its customers were pet owners” and need to find pet sitters when making their travel plans.

Mad Paws may be able to find room in the market in the wake of Wag! revealing it accidentally exposed customers’ home addresses and lockbox codes. While there were no reported break-ins, it may have made some customers willing to look elsewhere. Mad Paws could be that rival, because according to TechCrunch, they already take care of some  300,000 pets across Australia. For now, they are focused on cementing their position in Australia before expanding their dog-walking operations overseas.

If that’s not enough drama, yesterday Mars, the candy-making food company, announced they are launching a $100 million venture fund that will back pet-care products, tech, and services exclusively. Called the Companion Fund, they are planning on investing in pet tech startups and per CNBC, hope to be “the go-to partner for any promising new venture in pet care.” Sounds like another dog-walking app could be in the works.

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