AirTree Ventures

AirTree Ventures supports pet-sitting service Pawshake

 {Source: ROSE POWELL, The Australian Financial Review]

Pet-sitting may sound like the kind of job a teenager may dream up, but two of Australia’s most successful technology investors are willing to bet it is the next billion dollar business.

Craig Blair and Daniel Petre have been investing in technology businesses for more than 15 years. On ­Tuesday, they will announce the first investment from their new $60 million fund AirTree Ventures: online pet-minder marketplace Pawshake.

Only six-months-old, Pawshake ­connects pet owners to local pet-sitters and takes a cut of the sitting fee. AirTree led the company’s first investment round and have committed $1.5 million.

Mr Blair told The Australian Financial Review they had intended to deal in cheques bigger than $3 million, but the strength of Pawshake and a global ­“valuation crunch” won the day. “There is always risk with any investment. But we liked that there was no technology risk in Pawshake. From here on, it’s mostly about scaling the product and building the trust that makes the marketplace work,” he said.

Mr Blair said Pawshake, which ­operates in Australia and 10 other ­markets including the United Kingdom and Japan, already had the highest number of active users in every market other than the US where there a few incumbents the Australian founders will need to face sooner or later.