Another failure of investment? SoftBank sells stake in Wag Labs, start-up for ‘Dogs’

December 10 news, according tomedia reports, Japan’s SoftBank Group is managing the Vision Fund’s holding of the “dog” start-up Wag Labs to the original company. It is reported that the Vision Fund holds a total of nearly 50% of the company’s shares. Wag Labs is also laying off staff as SoftBank sells its stake. Wag Labs is a pet care start-up that allows many pet owners to use their mobile phones to find dog walkers who have plenty of time.

Another failure of investment? SoftBank sells stake in Wag Labs, start-up for 'Dogs'

As part of the agreement, Wag Labs will regain two board seats held by SoftBank, according to a memo sent to employees on Monday local time. The company did not disclose the terms of the deal or the number of job cuts.

A spokesman for The Vision Fund confirmed the sale but declined to comment further. A Wag Labs spokesman declined to comment. The Wall Street Journal reported the news earlier.

Earlier this year, the Vision Fund invested $300 million in Wag Labs. Wag Labs’ chief executive left last month and was replaced by Garrett Smallwood, the company’s 29-year-old vice president of products and partnerships.

Wag Labs is currently struggling to compete with its rival Srover. Wag Labs is in a bad position as long as it cuts its promotions to new customers. People familiar with the matter recently said That Wag Labs had been seeking to sell its stake as early as October and that the expected deal would value the company less than it was when softbank invested. Wag Labs had about $100 million in cash earlier this year, a person familiar with the matter said.

This week’s move will help Wag Labs “refocus on achieving sustainable growth,” Mr. Smallwood wrote in the memo. The company has no plans to buy back shares from other investors, a person familiar with the matter said Monday. Early venture investors include General Catalyst, Sherpa Capital and Slow Ventures.

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