Wag (company)

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Wag Labs, Inc.
IndustryPet care
Founded2014; 5 years ago (2014)
HeadquartersLos Angeles, California, U.S.

Wag Labs (better known as simply Wag!) is a pet care company that offers on-demand dog walking through a mobile application. It is sometimes called an "Uber for Dogs." Independent contractors are hired to walk dogs on demand.[1] The company has raised more than $300 million USD and has raised extensive press coverage. It has been internationally criticized after several instances of lost pets and misconduct by contractors.

History[edit]

Wag! was founded in 2014 in Los Angeles, California. It is the largest on-demand dog walking service in the United States.[2]

In early 2018 Wag! raised $300 million USD in venture capital funds from Softbank. The company had previously raised $68 million USD in venture capital.[3][4]

Celebrity users include Mariah Carey's dog Cha Cha, Kendall Jenner's dog Mew and Chloë Grace Moretz‘s dog Pearl.[2]

Hilary Schneider, former CEO of Lifelock, serves as CEO.[5]

Criticisms and Incidents[edit]

In June 2017, a Wag! contractor was videotaped allegedly "making himself at home" in a user's apartment, including resting on a sofa and taking beers.[6] In November 2017, a Wag! contractor was videotaped allegedly stealing packages from a New York, New York apartment building.[7] The New York Daily News reported on a dog lost by Wag! in September 2017.,[8] and the later finding of the pet weeks later.[9] News of lost dogs has been covered in international publications.[10]

In October 2017, the San Francisco Chronicle reported on a pet owner who alleged that Wag! lost her dog and that the company "has tried to bully me repeatedly."[11]

In January 2018, the Wall Street Journal reported that Wag! suffered a data breach of home addresses and lockbox codes on unprotected pages of the company's website.[12][13]

In March 2018, the New York City council began an investigation into Wag!'s practices.[14]

In December 2018, a Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier named Winnie was hit and killed by a car while in the care of a Wag! walker. After the incident, Wag! reached out to the owners in an email asking for them to sign a non-disclosure agreement about the issue in exchange for coverage of any expenses regarding their dog’s death.


References[edit]

  1. ^ Alejandra Reyes-Velarde (2018-02-01). "Softbank invests $300 million in dog-walking start-up Wag". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 2018-03-22. Retrieved 2018-03-22.
  2. ^ a b "Celebrity Endorsed Dog Walking App Scores $300 Million Investment". The Blast. 1 February 2018. Retrieved 22 March 2018.
  3. ^ Zhong, Raymond (2018-01-30). "Wag, the Dog-Walking Service, Lands $300 Million From SoftBank Vision Fund". The New York Times.
  4. ^ Piu, Lara (15 June 2017). "We Tried a New Uber-Style Dog Walking Service. Here's What Happened". Phoenix New Times. 2018-06-15.
  5. ^ Reyes-Velarde, Alejandra (2018-02-01). "Softbank invests $300 million in dog-walking start-up Wag". The Los Angeles Times.
  6. ^ "Man Hired Through Dog-Walking App Gets Comfy In Client's Apartment". CBS New York. 2 June 2017.
  7. ^ "Dog walker steals man's packages from Queens apartment". WPIX 11 New York. 14 December 2017. Retrieved 22 March 2018.
  8. ^ Esha Ray (2017-09-22). "Dog-walking service Wag! in the doghouse after losing another customer's pet". New York Daily News. Retrieved 22 March 2018.
  9. ^ "Long Island dog Buddy reunites with family after Wag! pet-sitter loses pup".
  10. ^ Minyvonne Burke. "'Uber for dogs' loses THREE pooches in the last month in New York: Chihuahua goes missing after slipping out of a harness in latest embarrassment for app Wag". Daily Mail (UK). Retrieved 22 March 2018.
  11. ^ Olivia Zaleski (2017-10-16). "Wag, the 'Uber for dog-walking,' is drawing scrutiny for allegedly losing dogs". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 22 March 2018.
  12. ^ Rolfe Winkler (2018-01-09). "Dog-Walking App Exposed Home Addresses and Lockbox Codes". Retrieved 22 March 2018.
  13. ^ Steven Melendez (2018-01-09). "Dog-walking app Wag's users possibly bitten by sensitive data exposure". Retrieved 22 March 2018.
  14. ^ "Lawmakers look to muzzle embattled dog-walking app". Retrieved 22 March 2018.