House and pet-sitting platform hires three to bolster senior leadership team

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by Josh Peachey

The world’s largest house and pet sitting platform has made a number of new hires across its senior leadership team as it seeks expansion.

TrustedHousesitters, which currently has 80,000 members, has enjoyed YOY growth of 50% since 2017, connects pet owners with like-minded sitters who provide free in-house pet care in return for a place to stay.

James Hamlin, former MD of TaskRabbit joins as Chief Growth Officer, while Natalia Avdeeva, former Digital Product VP of WikiTribune is appointed Chief Product Officer.

They are joined by Martin Poole, former Group Financial Controller of Inspiring Learning who becomes Chief Financial Officer.

Alongside Chief Technology Officer Will Ogden, the new senior leadership team will report to CEO Mathew Prior who joined on an interim basis last year.

A former MD of niche travel businesses at Travelopia and TUI, the now-permanent CEO brings with him two decades of expertise in leading digitally-focused global leisure brands including Crystal Ski, Le Boat, Sunsail and The Moorings.

Prior said: “I’m truly thrilled to be at TrustedHousesitters during such an exciting time in their growth. I believe we’re only scratching the surface of the market opportunity. 

"With my direction and the new executive management team, I’m confident we will continue to drive growth across our key markets, providing an innovative solution to a problem millions of pet owners face. I’m looking forward to taking TrustedHousesitters to the next level.”

The raft of appointments come as the global pet services industry is now valued at £140billion.

The platform recently enjoyed a 70% surge in US customers – making it their largest and highest-growth market. The retention rate is also standing strong at 70%.

Since its launch, TrustedHousesitters has facilitated over four million nights of house and pet sitting globally, saving users millions on pet-sitting and accommodation costs.

Alongside the senior hires, Cath Keers has also been appointed to the TrustedHousesitters board as Chairman, having previously held non-executive director positions at Funding Circle and Sage. She is currently also chairman of the B-corp product design studio ustwo.

Keers said: “We are delighted to announce the appointments of Mathew, James, Natalia and Martin to their roles within TrustedHousesitters’ executive management team. Together they bring a wealth of experience in travel and consumer technology.”

The business was acquired by private equity firm Rockpool Investments in October 2018.