PETS are set for a bite into the Airbnb pie, thanks to Brisbane startup PetCloud and the RSPCA.
PetCloud wants to fill a growing need in the pet boarding market for affordable and local pet accommodation through a sharing economy approach.
Currently on average, PetCloud sitters charge around $40 per day for sitting, with the ability to offer additional services such as dog walking, grooming, overnight stays or round trips to the vet.
Founder Deborah Morrison (pictured) is now expecting demand to heat up through a partnership with the RSPCA that she thinks will 'change the landscape' of pet care in Australia.
"We're the only pet sitting company in Australia to be partnered with the RSPCA in most states, where we link owners with trusted local pet sitters and there's no cages in site," says Morrison.
Identifying a synergy between PetCloud and its own values, the RSPCA has now come on board with the startup through an exclusive partnership across most states in Australia.
PetCloud is the only pet home care service to offer RSCPA accredited sitters through its learning portal.
RSPCA Queensland CEO Mark Townend says the 'comprehensive pet care mixed with cloud technology' got his organisation over the line and believes the startup offers an 'unrivalled experience'.
Well aware that dog is a man's best friend, Morrison says her gig economy startup has recognised the need to safeguard every step of the user journey.
PetCloud runs a multi-tiered process that includes reference and criminal background checks - something which Morrison says 'disturbingly' no other pet sitting companies do to her knowledge - as well as verification of social media accounts, online training and exams.
A manual review determines whether an applicant has a safe home for pet sitting and is capable of high-level customer service, and once sitters are accepted into the program, PetCloud collects data on responsiveness, repeat assignments and photo shares to validate the sitter's work ethic.
Then there's comprehensive pet sitter insurance for stays booked through the platform for claims up to $20 million through its insurance provider.
"We have found out what's important to Australians when it comes to pet minding, the emphasis people are increasingly putting on connecting with their communities, and have gone through due diligence," says Morrison.
"Sitters are heavily vetted and if you own a pet you can do a search in your local area and look at minder profiles which are very specific and will detail the type of residency, reasons for wanting to be involved, years of experience, qualifications and other points of interest such as whether the minder has a secure fence.
"Many households have both parents working, and they'll employ a cleaner or a gardener to do some of the jobs they struggle to find time for so PetCloud is just an extension of that concept."