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Over the last few years, we’ve seen a rise of the “Uber for X” economy and associated startups. From on-demand masseuse services to doctors or handymen – the uber for x economy has been growing rapidly and the latest entry into the space that is in high demand now is the Uber for Kids concept.
Why would we need an Uber for kids app?
It’s never easy being a working parent with a child in school. Either it’s coming up with schedules on who gets to pick up and drop the kid, fighting with the spouse when the other can’t do the needful on “their day” or worry about your child’s safety(and your money) when paying a lump sum and hiring a full-time babysitter. When all you actually needed, was your kid to be picked up and dropped from point A to point B safely.
Well, that’s what working parents all over the globe face daily, and that’s how the Uber for Kids idea was conceived.
Taxi services like Uber and Lyft are forbidden to take passengers under the age of 18, unaccompanied, in the car. So how does a parent with their children’s schedule involving preschool, school, extracurricular activities, tuitions, dropping by a friends house etc get their kids to each location on time and back home safely?
Enter the on-demand childcare solution.
Apart from the standard Uber-like app features, an Uber for kids brand usually encompasses the following additional features:
- Extremely stringent background checks, policies, and requirements to be an ‘Uber for kids’ driver.
- Live ride status and monitoring from the parent’s app.
- Detailed driver’s profile available to the parents upon booking.
- Being extremely affordable as compared to hiring a full-time sitter.
- Additional SOS features available from both the driver’s app and the parent’s app in case of an emergency.
- Carpooling features for kids in a particular neighborhood.
- Scheduler for setting up the various pick-up & drop points with their associated times for the day/week.
- Central Dispatch Team for monitoring all rides.
- Separate feature/app for managing school tie-ups.
Top 3 Uber for Kids startups
The idea of having someone you can trust from a reputed brand to pick and drop your kids safe isn’t a new concept, there are a few that have been heralded by parents all over. Here are the top 3 trailblazers in the Uber for Kids space.
HopSkipDrive has been around for the last 4 years. Boasting its 15 point certification process for its drivers, the brand offers one of the strictest background checks to be a “CareDriver” for HopSkipDrive.
Currently operating in LA, San Francisco Bay, and Orange County, HopSkipDrive is now expanding its business to tie up with various school systems and foster care brands. Aiming for massive brand growth and to potentially help thousands of busy parents all over, the brand has been gaining alot of support from both parents and investors.
Last year, HopSkipDrive raised $7.4 million on top of the whopping $14.1 million to further fuel its expansion. This recent financing is from Student Transport Inc, who are funding HopSkipDrive to be a new school bus alternative for schools.
Focusing more on childcare, Zūm targets drivers who have had previous experience in childcare services such as nannies, teachers or nurses before vetting them through their strict background check process.
Zūm has already partnered with over 800 schools in the San Francisco Bay Area and the Orange County.
“one-stop shop for busy families…they’ve done an especially good job working with schools, in addition to parents.” – Bryan Schreirer, Sequoia Capital, during $5million Series A funding 2016
Zūm has received a lot of press coverage over the last few years. They have been featured in journals & magazines such as TIME, TechCrunch, Silicon Valley Business Journal, Business Wire, The New York Times, Tech Insider, Mashable and more, as a trailblazer for childcare solutions and the Uber for Kids concept.
Zūm chargers around 16$ for a single ride and $6 per extra 15 minutes. However, with monthly plans or carpooling, their rates are lowered, per child.
Winners of the BEST of SAN FRANCISCO 2017 awards under the “Uber for Kids” segment(go figure!) – Kango is the babysitter on wheels people have been looking for. By providing the best of both worlds (safe child transport + babysitting) at affordable rates, Kango is an immediate favorite for parents.
All Kango drivers are background checked and fingerprinted as both:
- Drivers with DMV record checks and vehicle checks
- Babysitters with periodic background checks and sitter training
Kango charges a minimum fare of $16 and babysitting rates upto $15 – $20 per hour. The brand aims to make the service extremely friendly for drivers with flexible schedule planning, activation bonuses and above average payouts(including tips)
I am passionate about solving the problem of safe transportation and childcare for kids – so that so that parents and kids can pursue their dreams without sacrificing each other – Sara Schaer, interview with PYMNTS.COM
Their pricing model is broken down into 3 parts:
- Monthly membership of $9/month for any driver/sitter for pre-scheduled or on-demand Kango services.
- Ride fares are calculated based on time and distance(minimum fare being 16$)
- Similar to ride-sharing services for adults, there is a $1 per ride Safe Ride fee (lower than Uber/Lyft’s) which helps them cover their mileage-based insurance costs.
It’s inspiring to see ideas like this tailored for children and parents. Cheers to those SuperMoms & SuperDads leading the charge in the childcare solutions space 😀 !!!
Conclusion – Uber for kids market scope
Now back to business, as an aspiring entrepreneur, you can clearly see the success of the above 3 mentioned Uber for Kids brands are only due to the increasing demand for it. We can see that from the below figures.
No, I am not gonna give you the standard “mobile app users are increasing daily” graph, you already know that.
Below are two snapshots from Google Trends with the search query as “uber for kids”
As you can see the graph has been constantly rising over the last few years. Blame it on economic diversification, more parents getting used to relying on mobile apps or kids having a longer daily schedule as compared to 5 years ago – the end result is, people, ARE daily searching for an uber for kids solution. Preferably with lower rates, more security features, advanced scheduling options, easy-to-use UI or availability in their exact location.
If you were to further analyze the search term you would see an 851-1.7k monthly search volume in the U.S alone, for the term. You can easily expect this figure to rise in the U.S and all over the world.
Why? Increasing population + More mobile users + Both parents working = More working professionals looking to manage their kids and their professional life via a childcare software solution.