As a parent, you’re probably familiar with making sacrifices for your kids. Whether it’s saving money for college, shuttling people to music lessons, or just spending time playing with them, children take up so much of your time that often it’s tough to squeeze in an “adult” play date. Still today, for most, trying to find a babysitter is considered difficult because of the logistics and the general search and screen process – not to mention the informal schedule management. Things are looking up though; there are a handful of startups and technologies trying to make arranging a babysitter as easy as hailing a cab.
Trusted is a startup focused on the San Francisco Bay market and truly revolutionizes the babysitting industry. The service provides parents with live in-home video, real-time messaging, and GPS monitoring to provide a level of safety unmatched by most other services.
Rather than just being a marketplace, sitters listed on Trusted are employed by the company. Each Sitter goes through extensive criminal, sex offender, and driving record checks across all 50 states and D.C. In addition to these checks, sitters also have their social security numbers validated to ensure they’re not posing as someone else.
Trusted charges a flat rate of $25/hour with a two hour booking minimum. There’s an extra $5 fee for each additional child.
To date, Trusted has raised $2.1M from 9 investors including Techstars Ventures and CrunchFund.
Kindy is an online babysitting booking startup focused on the Australian market. Unlike other companies out there, Kindy is an app-centric startup, allowing parents to make and manage their reservations via smartphone.
In order to ensure safety, Kindy conducts extensive background checks and also has measures to verify that the applicant really is who they claim to be (via photo ID or other methods). Ultimately, however, the verification is optional and it’s up to the parents to ensure all the information is valid.
Rather than just focusing on individual reservations, Kindy also promotes a sense of community between users; the service enables parents to find other parents in the area, create group chats, share photos, and also create career profiles.
UrbanSitter is best described as (for lack of a better term) an Uber for babysitting. The service sports over 50,000 listings and requests are often answered in under 20 minutes. A few of the key filters parents can choose include background checks, CPR certifications, access to an automobile, and also special needs experience.
In addition to their sitter rating system, UrbanSitter also has repeat family badges to show which sitters are hired more than once by the same families. It’s free to post a job, view sitter profiles, and view candidates through the service. For actual bookings and reservations UrbanSitter charges $14.95 a month or $99.95 per year, plus the cost of the sitter. Unlike many sharing economy services, the providers are given 100% of the tips.
The service is currently offered across 60 cities across the US such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, Denver, and New York City. To date, the company has raised $22.75M in equity funding from several investors, along with $57.5k debt financing – just a few weeks ago they raised about $200K through convertible note.
Similar to UrbanSitter, DateNight is another startup aiming to make it easier to secure a babysitter – this startup is currently focused on the Toronto and Ottawa markets in Canada. The biggest difference between DateNight and UrbanSitter (aside from style) is DateNight’s two way screening system.
When a babysitter applies to be listed on the service, they go through an initial screening interview and undergo reference checks. Parents applying to the service submit their LinkedIn profiles and references. Once accepted into the network, DateNight facilitates matches between families and sitters. Similar to speed dating, both sides arrange to have an in-person or Skype interview. Afterwards both sides decide if they’re a fit for each other.
The amount of clients a sitter can have is capped at 3-6 families based on the subscription level they choose. For parents, DateNight subscriptions start at $2.99/month for up to three interviews (and a $5 booking fee). There’s also a one-time solution for a flat $20. This package includes one match with a DateNight Elite babysitter, and a Skype interview before hand.
Feature image courtesy of MoviePilot.com
Charles Costa is a marketing specialist helping technology companies grow, one word at a time. You can learn more at CharlesCosta.net