With summer nearly here and school about to let out, it’s about that time of year when parents start stressing about what to do with their kids for summer activities. For parents living in New York City, a new solution to that problem arose last year, and it’s turned out to be such a well-received idea that it’s now about to expand to other cities.
KidPass is the brainchild of founders Aaron Kaufman, Chhay Chhun, Solomon Liou, and Olivia Ballvé. What it is is simple: it’s a website that parents can use to not only locate thousands of activities around their city but to sign up on the spot.
According to Liou, KidPass was inspired by each of their experiences as parents:
“We started KidPass out of our own need as parents. We wanted to look for music classes for our kids, and there was no place to go to where you could easily search and then book and then just go to an activity.”
According to one of KidPass’s customers: “Your child wakes up one morning, and you don’t have anything planned that day. What are you in the mood for? You don’t have to sign up for a whole season. Kids change their minds.”
It’s this on-the-spot activity locator and sign-up service that’s proven to be the real draw here—especially for parents who don’t have time to hunt around the Internet. In a city like New York, there are just too many options, and searches may only provide information on the most well-known—and already booked-up—services. KidPass removes this frustrating obstacle by putting all available activities in one place.
The Kid- and Parent-Friendly Benefits of KidPass
KidPass has now become the singular activity-locating resource for over 20,000 families in the New York City area to find fun summer activities to sign their children up for. Activity providers include Gymboree, Super Soccer Stars, Chocolate Works, the MOMA, YMCA, JCC, and more.
In addition to the convenience factor of the KidPass website, the founders of the company as well as customers can’t help but rave about the other benefits of the service.
For starters, affordability is key. According to mommy blogger Tiffany Stuart, “KidPass has worked out a way to offer classes for at least 50% cheaper, (on average), than the cost listed on their vendor’s websites.”
There are three plans available. Basic costs $49 a month, comes with ten credits and covers up to two children. Family costs $99 a month, comes with 25 credits, and covers up to five children. And the Powerpack costs $189 per month, comes with 50 credits, and covers an unlimited amount of children. In addition, credits roll over, so parents never have to worry about using them right away if life gets too busy, they book on vacation or have some other reason for not using them that money
Also, kids tend to be finicky, which can make investing in a summer program or a full semester of classes a risky investment if it doesn’t work out. KidPass works around this commitment by offering parents the opportunity to sign up for individual classes without having to purchase a full program.
Looking to the Future of KidPass
With the recent announcement of their latest round of Series A funding that resulted in over $5 million raised, the founders of KidPass have big plans for the future of the company:
“With the new funding, we will now be able to significantly accelerate our growth through further investment in our technology platform, as well as reach thousands of new families as we launch additional cities. This investment helps solidify KidPass as the market leader, allowing us to more rapidly pursue our mission of helping families discover and book the best activities for children of all ages.”
Their website was also recently updated to reflect the new markets they plan to expand to, which will include Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington D.C.
So long as KidPass keeps going down this road of smart business decisions, they’ll continue to experience this extremely rapid growth. Of course, no matter how fast they move and expand, it will be crucial for them to remember to occasionally look backward as well as around them just to make sure they’re continuing to make the right decisions.
Take ClassPass—the adult version of KidPass—for example. The company is still around, but they had to announce last year that one of their plans was costing them money and would be discontinued.
In addition, there are other child-focused, drop-in activity booking websites popping up around KidPass. Sawyer currently offers a similar service for New York City and Los Angeles while Pearachute covers Chicago, Dallas, and Kansas City. The founders of KidPass would be wise to keep an eye on them in order to see what’s working (and what’s not) both inside and outside of their target parent markets.
Brenda Barron is a writer from Southern California specializing in technology and business. When she’s not writing, you can usually find her outdoors with her family or knitting.