Aaron Hirschhorn is the founder, CEO and “Top Dog" of DogVacay, the leading online and mobile pet sitting company. DogVacay connects pet parents in need of services with more than 25,000 vetted and insured pet caregivers in 10,000 cities across the country. Founded in March 2012 and based in Santa Monica, CA, the company has over 80 employees and has raised $47M from investors including Omers, Benchmark Capital and Andreessen Horowitz. Prior to DogVacay, Aaron spent several years in venture capital and technology, working at Monitor Group, Upfront Ventures, and Monitor Ventures. Previously, Aaron was an analyst at Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors.
1.) How did Aaron come to found one of the startup hits to come out of LA? In the beginning what was the harder element the demand or the supply side?
2.) How did Aaron know when he had achieved product market fit with DogVacay? What were the signs and how did he follow this up? How did Aaaron react to VCs laughing at his concept and how did he stay energised and positive?
3.) How was the fundraising process for Aaron with DogVacay and Benchmark, Andreesen and First Round? How can founders look to control the dialogue? How many investors should founders look to target? What makes Aaron want and not want a particular investor?
4.) What business fundamentally work in the on demand economy and what don't ? How should marketplace founders be approaching the issue of unit economics and should growth still be the priority?
5.) What is it like having Bill Gurley as a broad member ? What will be the enabler that will allow DogVacy to achieve that market penetration required?