24 Oct 2018

WBD has advised independent private equity firm Rockpool Investments on its recent investment in TrustedHousesitters, the world’s largest house and pet sitting community operating in over 130 countries.

The WBD team was led by Partner Leon Miller and Associate Alex Fergus in the corporate team; tax expert Ronan Lowney; and Managing Associate Tom Caplen and Solicitor Luke Addison in the Banking team.

The investment by Rockpool comes at a time of significant growth for the company. So far this year TrustedHousesitters launched their first commercial partnership with low cost carrier easyJet, as well as continuing their expansion across the USA and Australia. Further technology improvements include launching an iOS app in June which has had over 20,000 downloads to date. This success has enabled the company to double from 25 to 50 staff in 12 months, recently moving into their fifth new premises in Brighton.

TrustedHousesitters experienced 70% growth in the year to 28th February 2018 and is projecting significant growth for its financial year ending 28th February 2019, with a revenue run rate of over £5m. Next year will see TrustedHousesitters internationalise the site that operates in 130+ countries, but is currently only available in English. The investment sees Rockpool retain a significant minority stake in the business, with the current TrustedHousesitters executive team continuing to run the business while the founders Andy Peck and Rachel Martin each take a non-executive director role.

Leon Miller of WBD commented:

"We have advised our client Rockpool on a series of deals this year and are delighted to have once again supported them on this investment which will support TrustedHousesitters' growth strategy. We look forward to working with Rockpool again as it continues to grow its investment portfolio."

Guy Ellis, Investment Manager at Rockpool, said:

“We are excited to be backing TrustedHousesitters and the team at a pivotal moment in the growth trajectory of the business. The investment represents Rockpool’s continued portfolio expansion into the online consumer space both in the UK and internationally.
  
We believe that TrustedHousesitters is well-positioned to continue its incredible growth to date, providing a unique solution for travelling pet owners around the world. We look forward to working with Tim and his team as they continue to build a market-leading online community for pet owners looking to travel more.”

Ranking in the UK's top 20 law firms, WBD provides legal expertise in eleven key sectors from across eight offices in the UK, including London, and 18 offices in the US. The firm has a large corporate practice in the UK advising national and international clients on a broad range of corporate transactions, particularly M&A, IPOs, private equity investments as well as growth and development capital fundraisings.