Eliminates Your Need for Pet Kennels



Whenever you go on vacation, it’s always the same question:

“Who will take care of the pets?”

rsz_incontentad2Kennels are expensive and often unpleasant. Friends and family might be willing, but they could also have schedule conflicts of their own, or you could live far away from family.

Thanks to a jaunt to Spain, founder Andy Peck hit on the perfect solution.

Read our Q&A with Andy below to learn more:

What is your startup called?

What’s the story behind your idea?

The idea for came about in late 2010. I was working as a writer at the time and stumbled across a home with several dogs that needed looking after in the north of Spain. The owner was offering someone the chance to stay there for free in return for keeping an eye on the house and looking after the dogs in her absence. I got in touch with the owner and several weeks later I was in house sitting in Spain.

Naturally it didn’t take long for me to realise that there must be plenty of other pet owners who would rather forgo the kennels in exchange for a live-in pet sitter and, plenty of people like me who would be happy to house sit in exchange for a great place to stay.

Who are the founders, and what are their backgrounds? is founded and run by myself, Andy Peck & Rachel Martin. I come from a marketing background and have been lucky to have worked with a few very large and successful international brands like Red Bull and Diageo. Rachel comes from a background in PR and prior to, ran her own travel PR company.

Where are you based? is run from Brighton, a small city roughly an hour outside of London, England.

What’s the startup scene like where you are based?

Brighton is often described as “punching above its weight” in terms of the number of startups it produces. It’s a city brimming with creativity and an excellent place to be a startup: there are services to cater for every startup’s need and for everything else, London is only an hour away.

What problem do you solve?

 At we solve the very common problem most pet owners face of “what to do with your pet when you go on vacation”.

We do this by connecting pet owners with trustworthy individuals, couples and families; people who will live in the pet owner’s home and look after their animals while they’re away.

Roughly 90% of our members do not charge to do this either. Our members tend to take on out-of-town house sits rather than in their own town or city (like I did in Spain). In return for walking the dog, watering the plants or just generally keeping an eye on things while the owner’s are away the sitter gets a free place to stay. We currently have around six hundred home and pet owners who are looking for sitters.

Why now?

The idea of getting a house sitter is nothing new, but the idea of people house sitting in exchange for a great place to stay is something that’s only really been made possible through the internet and the rise and acceptance of the collaborative consumption movement.

What are some of the milestones your startup has already reached?

At the start of this year we passed 5,000 ‘house sitter’ members (people who are willing to house sit for others) and there are currently roughly 20 new house sitting opportunities a day being posted on the site from home and pet owners around the world.

What are your next milestones?

House sitting in this way is still a relatively new idea and so we’re currently working towards doubling the mentioned numbers, a figure which will hopefully give us the critical mass we need to push the idea into the mainstream.

Where can people find out more? Any social media links you want to share?

The best place to get a feel for what we do is to take a look at a listing from someone looking for a house or pet sitter, which you can do here:

We post a lot of the best house sits on our Facebook page ( ) and also have a very active blog as well:

Ghost Announces Launch of “Just a Blogging Platform”

Ghost blogging

On December 23 London-based Ghost announced the opening of their hosted blogging platform to the public.

Back in April, Ghost CEO John O’Nolan launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund the creation of a new blogging platform. They reached their goal in 12 hours and ended up raising $300,ooo during the 30 day campaign. (We’ll call it a crowdfunding success.)

O’Nolan and development lead Hannah Wolfe got to work, and in October they launched the platform.

So, what is Ghost, and why do we need another blogging platform, exactly?

According to O’Nolan, who was a former WordPress employee, most blogging platforms have gotten away from their original purpose: publishing. In the quest to optimize for every kind of content, systems like WordPress are confusing and difficult to use. They interrupt the flow of a writer’s work and make it harder to do the things many writers already struggle with (like inserting graphics).

Ghost isn’t like that. With a two-column presentation, you can type in the markdown column and see how it looks in the preview column as you go. The dashboard is gorgeous and allows you to see all the analytics that matter to you in one place. “Free. Open. Simple.” it says on the Ghost about page.

The blogging platform released in October, and hosts like Rackspace soon had plugins that made it easy-ish to get up and running. But, the team at Ghost wanted it to be even simpler, and behind the scenes they were working on a Ghost hosting platform that will make the whole process of getting a blog on the Internet super simple.

Last week saw the public release of that hosting platform as a premium service.

Wait…premium? Didn’t the website say it was “free”?

So, here’s the interesting thing about Ghost: they’re a nonprofit. They don’t have millions in the bank, and they aren’t taking investor meetings. They don’t plan to exit and profit in the billion dollar range. They’re just building a blogging platform.

(I know, it’s shocking. Take a deep breath. It’ll be okay.)

The Ghost team will use proceeds from the hosting platform to fund the rest of the project. And, in return, users get a simple system that makes blogging easy again.

“Do we want to make millions and sell to Facebook? Or do we want to make something that’s genuinely good and serves its users, not its investors and shareholders,” O’Nolan says in the Kickstarter video.

However, while they claim to focused on users, it’s only possible to type your posts in markdown, making it more developer-user friendly than writer-user friendly. And, as far as I can see, they don’t offer a cheat sheet for those of us that aren’t familiar with writing in markdown.

Still, that’s an easy fix, if they choose to make it. The platform is beautiful, and Ghost will be a fun project to watch in 2014. The future of big journalism may be unknown, but the fate of bloggers looks pretty good.

London Startup Dressipi Partners With Ebay For Fashion Discovery

Ebay, Ebay UK, Dressipi, UK Startup

Ebay has been looking to broaden it’s horizons and be more than just an online auction site. Over the past year and a half to two years, we’ve seen Ebay develop a more robust e-commerce site, leaning on its auction business less and less. I remember when Ebay was just starting out, and you could get that real good deal on some artifact that meant something to you but not necessarily to the seller. Those days have just about dried up as the auction portion has become home to liquidators, drop-shippers, and professional storage auction shoppers.

But, the company’s newest partnership may have the thrifty Macklemore taking a look a second look at the former pillar of the online community.

Ebay has announced a partnership with Dressipi, a London startup for fashion discovery. The partnership will begin as a six month trial for Ebay users in the UK.  Those users will use Dressipi’s Fashion Fingerprint, a fashion profile of sorts. Once the user completes their ideal Fashion Fingerprint, Dressipi will then scour Ebay site for Buy It Now options and auction listings for fashion items that fit the user’s tastes.

Dressipi combines big data, social media, and old fashioned customer service to return the most relevant results.

Ebay users in the UK can start using Dressipi here.


22-Year-Old New York Entrepreneur Launches EdTech Startup In London, Raises $1.7M

Mobento, UK startup, Venture Capital, Seed Round22-year-old Summer Murphy created a video library startup with access to thousands of curated educational videos on a variety of topics. Unlike many entrepreneurs, though, this native New Yorker decided that he wanted to see if his luck would fare better across the pond in the TechCity incubator in London.

Growth Business UK reports that it has. Murphy’s startup Mobento has raised $1.7 million, which has been reported as the biggest investment for any education-focused tech startup in the UK. It’s also been reported that it was one of the biggest seed rounds of any UK tech startup.

Murphy told The Next Web that the company would use the money to grow the business and bring “educational technology up to speed with the advances made elsewhere in business, social networks, and mobile”.

When talking about the platform itself, Murphy told Growth Business UK : “It slots right into the behaviour and customs of contemporary students and is a democratising and liberating force within education because it enables the world’s best educators to reach out to students all over the world.”

New York has a thriving startup community, so relocating to London to launch Mobento was a testament to Tech City. “Mobento’s decision to base themselves here is further proof that Tech City is the ideal location to scale and grow a successful digital business. Quick access to Europe and our heritage of creativity and innovation make London attractive for digital media and tech companies. Whilst the blend of creativity and innovation that exists in East London with easy access to the financial centre of the City is also a major advantage,” Benjamin Southworth, deputy CEO of Tech City, said.

Check out Mobento at

Check out this infographic, a programmer’s guide to getting hired by a startup


London Startup Wants To Know What Float’s Your Goat

FloatYourGoat, UK Startup, London startup,startup interviewFile this under: startups with kick ass names. What’s more is that London based startup Float Your Goat has already attracted over 350 freelancers to their network that connects freelancers to their powerful social network.

Float Your Goat is a social workplace where creative people can network, build teams, grow ideas, and earn money. To date there are 367 freelancers in the network and some of them have been rates as part of the top 100 designers in the UK by The Drum.

The site connects graphic artists, illustrators, photographers, web designers, copywriters, animators and more, not just to each other, but to businesses and other colleagues that have projects that need a designer now.

Float Your Goat was founded by Emeline Wraith who appropriately took the title of “Chief Goat Herder”. The idea for Float Your Goat came up in 2010 as part of “Dragon’s Den” (American’s think Shark Tank) style competition called Dream Big.

“The dream was to create and promote fair, honest and open relationships between clients and freelancers, encouraging the idea of remote working and offering a social media platform for freelancers to share their ideas, tips and tricks as well as showcase their work.” Wraith told in an interview. “We are keen advocates of the idea of remote working; internet access, a laptop and a creative mind is all you need to freelance, and this is something we wanted to promote. Equally, we wanted to be able to cut out the middle man and offer affordable and fair services for all parties involved!”

With a variety of free lancers at different levels and rates, Float Your Goat is perfect for small businesses, large businesses, individuals, and of course startups. Since it’s 2013 and everyone is using the internet anyway, it’s very easy for a startup in Boise Idaho to connect with a designer on Float Your Goat. In fact that startup plans on growing without geographic borders.

Float Your Goat is just as effective for recruiters and those with projects as it is for freelancers.

“For recruiters, With the site’s search engine and rating system in place, clients can easily browse freelancers’ portfolios, testimonials and references, and so find the right person with the right skills to fulfil their needs. Perfect for any ad hoc work!” Wraith said. She’s also hoping that Float Your Goat will become agency executives’ “little black book”.

Now with a solid community growing Float Your Goat is launching a campaign geared towards startups.

“Float Your Goat have just founded a new campaign called Startups 4 Startups (SUSU), a meaningful network of creative startups that, together, delivers selective areas of expertise to nurture, collaborate and develop new business propositions into a working reality. We want to demonstrate the development of a startup from inception to launch, taking a fledgling company and making it fly.

Startups 4 Startups (SUSU) consists of five partners which, when combined, provide a 360 degree service and the necessary elements to help a new business succeed, from business development and financial management to design, print, PR and online presence. Float Your Goat, Incisive London, EML Wildfire, Print My Pixel and People Of Print each offering a different angle and a different skill set to be used both within and outside the creative community. Together we provide the knowledge and ability required for business to business propositions and supply the creative services needed for success.

Each of the partners is either a start up themselves or a collaborator with startups. Through Startups 4 Startups, each will give an understanding of how the startup process works as well as offer sound advice and best practice in terms of the startup journey.”

We will be reporting on this as it launches next month.

You can find out more about Float Your Goat here

gDoc Has Binders Full Of Docs, CES 2013 Eureka Park Interview

gDoc,UK startup,startups,startup interview, Eureka Park, CES 2013This UK startup called gDoc has binders full of docs. There Windows based platform allows users to create virtual electronic, cloud based binders that keep docs, pictures and other files grouped together in project binders. Within the binders themselves, and just like physical binders, users can make tabs and sections so that big projects can be easily organized.

The team behind gDoc came up with the idea when their product guy was working on a huge project and couldn’t easily keep all of the documents and files associated with the project in one place. Now three years later the company is set to launch in a beta later this month and to the public in the spring.

They have an extremely easy pricing structure, $10 gets their user 10 binders for life. Users can change the binders around, dust  them off and use them again or if they need more binders they can simply shell out another $10 to get new binders.

Binders within gDoc can easily be synced to cloud based storage options like DropBox and shared with others to work and collaborate on the same project.

Nibletz co-founder Nick Tippmann got a chance to interview the guys with gDoc at Eureka Park at CES 2013 earlier this month. Check out that video interview below.

We’ve got a village full of startups at The Startup Conference

Draw Something Meets Twitter With New Social Startup Didlr: CES 2013

We met a very interesting, and fun, app startup from the UK and Atlanta Georgia at Eureka Park. The startup, called Didlr, essentially combines Draw Something and Twitter for a fun new way to socialize and interact with people across the globe.

Users download the app to their smartphone or tablet, on just about every platform commercially available. After the app is downloaded you go through the normal social networking notions like creating a profile and inviting your friends. Once you’re all set up you can get to Didling.

A Didl is using your creativity through drawings and creating pictures rather than through words. As they tell us in the interview below, 140 characters is a lot more limiting than creating pictures. Didlr allows you to be as creative as you like, or can be.

Thousands of people have already flocked to the service and see it as having a little more meaning than playing the once uber popular Draw Something.

Like Twitter you can follow friends, or Didlr’s whose pictures you like. Also, the more popular a Didl is the longer it stays on the front page of the app.

Creatively speaking Didlr has included a good sized color pallete and various brush tools for any artist.

Check out our our cofounder and CEO, Nick Tippmann’s interview video below.

 See startups from across the country and around the world at The Startup Conference

Continuously GeoTag Video With UK Startup RouteShoot

RouteShoot, UK startup, startup interviewGeotagging is nothing new, we’ve been able to do it on our iPhones and Android devices for the past few years. You can geotag a tweet, a Facebook status message, Instagram photo and photos that you post to just about any social network. Geotagging allows the creator to mark where their photo was taken or their checkin was made.

Videos can be geotagged as well, however it’s typically one geotag at the beginning of the video or associated with the link for the video.

UK Startup RouteShoot has developed away to use your smartphones gps in conjunction with it’s video camera to continuously geotag a video. Say for instance you are hanging out in South Beach and start a video at your hotel, if you keep the video going down the A1A and then onto the beach, RouteShoot would allow the geotags to change to correspond with the different locations you were at while the video camera was rolling.

What’s more is once the video is uploaded the route is tracked in a line. A viewer can click the line on the geo mapped route and pick up the video based on the location if they wish, or watch as the locations change throughout the recording of the video.  The video also shows a “you are here” symbol on the map as the video is playing.

RouteShoot was created by co-founders; Gary Wilson, Adam May and Andy Pym. Wilson and May have years of experience in the highway maintenance field while Pym has experience in highway engineering. We got a chance to talk with Wilson about RouteShoot. Check out the interview below.

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UK Startup Eyejusters Changing The Vision In The Developing World

Eyejusters, UK startup,startup interview, social entrepreneurshipI know right about now you’re wondering why in the world we are covering an eye glass company on nibletz, the voice of startups everywhere else.

Well truth be told this is a special eye glass company. First off they’ve developed a new technology that will greatly benefit those with varying degrees of bad vision.

Secondly, they’ve found a way to make their eye glass technology make an impact and a difference in developing countries.

First off, Eyejusters has created a new technology for those folks that need glasses to see. The technology they’ve developed is called “SlideLens” technology. This allows the user to change the actual lens within the glass frame. Say you need one strength of reading glasses in the light, and another when it’s not so light. This can be achieved by simply turning a dial.

The real neat thing about Eyejusters is how their product is changing the vision in the developing world.

The premise behind Eyejusters is to turn the knob on the lenses until the user is comfortable seeing out of them and they improve your site. Once the user finds the comfortable spot the glasses are working their optimum with no real eye exam to boot. That’s why the Eyejusters product is so valuable in developing countries.

Many people in these countries can’t afford regular doctor’s care, much less a specialist like an Opthamologist. With SlideLens technology and Eyejusters the folks in developing countries don’t need an opthamologist the eye exam is actually built into the glasses.

We got a chance to talk with Owen Reading, one of the co-founders of Eyejusters about their startup, product, social cause and how they’ve approached the product itself in the same way any startup would. Check out the interview below.

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UK Startup Swogo Launches The “Best Way To Find Products” Starting With Laptops

Swogo,UK Startup,startup,startups,international startup, recommendation engineAccording to various consumer electronic trade publications the average consumer takes three weeks to make a decision on a laptop.  A new UK startup called Swogo is looking to take that decision making time down to seconds.

Swogo says the main hurdle in making a purchasing decision is the way people search for items. Either they have an idea in their mind at what they want to purchase and then go to a consumer electronics retailer for comparison shopping.

Other consumers take to gigantic search engines like Google and Bing. The problem with traditional search engines is that they lead to information and not answers. Sifting through that information and then vetting it against paid ad campaigns can often lead consumers down the wrong path. In this case they either make the wrong purchasing decision or they prolong the decision making process further.

Swogo plans on becoming a recommendation connection engine for many types of products but they are starting with laptops. The site launched on Monday afternoon in the UK with laptops only and plans on expanding their product line and their global reach this year.  By the end of 2013 they plan on adding tablets, smartphones, cameras and TVs.

Sure there are plenty of other electronic and gadget sites out there but Swogo says they have an algorithm that aides customers in making their important purchasing decisions,reducing the time down to seconds.

Check out these links:

Swogo is on the web here

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UK Startup: Charity Kick, A Fundraising Platform With A Daring Twist

CharityKick,UK Startup,startup,startup interviewYou know that crazy guy or gal in your group that will do just about anything? All you have to do is dare them? Well imagine if those dares could be done for pledges and the pledges were made for Charity? That’s the idea behind UK startup CharityKick.

Do you want to dare someone to bungee jump from a crazy place? Would you like to dare someone to eat 27 hot dogs in one sitting? Whatever the dare, you can raise money to entice someone to do it. But with CharityKick, the dare doesn’t actually have to take place.

For this to work you have to find someone daring, and you also have to find the dares. From there you can make a go out of fundraising by encouraging people to pledge money for the dares to be fulfilled. Take the hot dog guy for instance. Once someone accepts the challenge, you set up a pledge page and call on that persons friends, family members, co-workers, and heck, even complete strangers, to sponsor the dare. Once the dare is set, people can pledge funds for charity to egg the person on to do the dare.

Mat Wurm and Greg Fournier are the two crazy social entrepreneurs behind this big idea. They’re currently based in the UK but are establishing a presence in the United States as well. Of course everyone knows how crazy we Americans are.

We got a chance to talk with Fournier about Charity Kick. Check out our interview with him below.

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UK Startup: Spacehive Brings Civic Crowdfunding Across The Pond

Spacehive,UK Startup,London startupAs crowdfunding continues to grow in popularity, we’ve seen more and more “civic” crowdfunding sites pop up in the United States.  Back in August we brought you an interview with Kansas City startup and also during the summer we reported on Tampa startup Citizinvestor.

Now our friends across the pond in the UK are getting into the civic crowdfunding space. UK startup Spacehive is offering people in the UK the opportunity to crowdfund civic minded projects. These can include anything from planting a garden, to developing an open neighborhood wifi.

Crowdfunding was sparked and started in the United States with sites like Indiegogo and Kickstarter. In the UK there are already sites crowdfunding startups, like our good friends at Up And Funding. The civic crowdfunding space is new for them though.

Crowdfunding typically exists in two models. There’s an all or nothing model, where the crowd has a goal to raise and projects are funded once all of the money is raised. Other sites like Indiegogo allow people to raise money for projects but every dime goes to the project’s founder regardless of whether or not they hit their goal.

With Spacehive it’s the all or nothing model. Someone with a civic project will go online to their site. Once they create the project and the project is approved by Spacehive, they are free to raise money to their goal. The funds for the project will only be released once the goal is hit giving backers a little more piece of mind that the money is going to what it’s intended for.

We got a chance to talk with the team from Spacehive, about their civic crowdfunding platform and their cool name. Check out the interview below.

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Build Your Own Video Games With UK Startup Construct 2

Have you ever wanted to build your own video game? Maybe you’re a gamer and thought you’d love your own game but didn’t know an ounce about programming? Well there’s a UK startup that’s come up with a do it yourself platform for creating video games.  The startup is called Scirra and their product is Construct 2.

Through Construct 2’s easy to use interface you’ll drag and drop your game characters, game play moves and more to make a fully workable video game via HTML5. After that Construct2 gets you ready to export your new game to a variety of devices and a variety of platforms.

The system that Ashley Gullen and has brother have created makes it possible for people with no programming experience whatsoever to produce “awesome games”.

Construct2 creates Windows based games and was the follow up to Gullen’s 2007 game creation tool now dubbed “Construct Classic”. The classic version allowed people to create games in the DirectX 9 platform.

We got a chance to talk with Ashley’s brother Thomas Gullen. Check out that interview below.

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UK Startup: SurveyMe Offers An Easy To Use Mobile Survey Platform INTERVIEW

surveyme,uk startup,startup,startups,international startup,startup interviewBusiness owners are constantly looking for the best way to get customer feedback with the best possible return. According to many surveys, comment cards, even ones that offer incentives, see around 1% return or engagement. Surveys that print out on receipts and direct patrons to websites aren’t very effective either. That’s why many companies have found the need and desire to take their surveys to the mobile device.

UK startup SurveyMe solves the problem of creating surveys just for mobile devices by offering an easy to use platform for business owners to design mobile surveys. In fact, even business owners with minimal web experience can create good looking, easy to use and easy to navigate surveys. SurveyMe has tried to make their platform easy enough to use, so that if you know how to use the internet you can create a survey.

SurveyMe is another great startup with a husband and wife co-founders, Lee and Nicola Evans. While this is the Evans’ family’s first internet startup they’re no strangers to owning a business. The Evans were the original owners of The Bear Factory in Ireland, a brand that was eventually bought out by St.Louis giant Build A Bear.

While they’re not making bears, they’re making their survey platform as easy as letting a three year old create a bear, and the UI as appealing.

We got a chance to talk to Lee Evans. Check out our interview below:

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