Shares of Rover Group Inc., an online marketplace for pet care, rose 6% Monday in their trading debut after the company went public by merging with a special-purpose acquisition corporation, or SPAC, a vehicle that has become popular during the coronavirus pandemic.
Rover shares are trading on Nasdaq under the ticker “ROVR” after the company merged with Nebula Caravel Acquisition Corp., a SPAC backed by San Francisco-based private-equity firm True Wind Capital. The platform offers pet owners a network of pet sitters and dog walkers. SPACs, or blank-check companies, raise money in an initial public offering and then have two years to acquire a business, or businesses.
The company will have $270 million in capital to fund its growth.
which was founded in 2011 and is based in Seattle, will be led by its founder, Aaron Easterly, while Adam Clammer, CEO and founding partner of True Wind, will join the board.
“The demand for trusted, affordable pet care services has never been greater,” Easterly said in a statement. “The “pandemic puppy” surge is real and has only added to the long growing trend of our pets being more central in our families and in our lives.”
The company experienced strong recovery in the first half of the year, boosted by a return to travel and the increase in pet ownership during the 2020 lockdowns. In June, it had its biggest booking month yet with total bookings of 421,000, up from 373,000 in June 2019, before the outbreak.
It has its biggest single month of gross bookings value at $56.6 million, said the statement. It did not offer a comparison. The company has more than 500,000 pet care providers across North America and Europe, according to its website.
Rover is planning to release second-quarter earnings after market close on Aug. 9. In the first quarter, it had a net loss of $10.6 million, narrower than the loss of $20.5 million posted in the year-earlier period. Revenue fell to $12.2 million from $17.0 million a year ago.