Having a child is hard enough, but having to set up day care and babysitters brings in a whole host of complications that your work week cannot handle. What should you do if you need help finding a trusted sitter that can watch a child at work or at your home? Introducing Helpr, the marketplace for on-demand babysitting and childcare, that works with you and your business to make sure your little ones are being taken care of. Whether you need a date night or you are working long hours to save for college, you need a reliable baby-sitter service and the Helpr app is at your service.
LA TechWatch chatted with cofounder and CEO Kasey Edwards about the schedule-saving app and how it ensures top notch service.
Tell us about the product or service.
Helpr is disrupting the childcare industry by getting you a screened sitter to your door in as little as three hours. Unlike other babysitting services, Helpr’s babysitters have in-person interviews with Helpr staff and are background checked, double referenced checked, and CPR certified.
In addition, Helpr is changing the norms in the workforce for more family-friendly environments by offering employers and HR departments comped and subsidized childcare service programs on-site and at home. Just a few examples of times the programs are valuable are: backup care (sick days, winter vacations, etc.), maternity bridging (for parents slowing working their way back to full-time after having a baby), events and conferences (holiday parties, company retreats, etc.), and on-site program development (daycare, camps, etc.).
Helpr is currently available in Los Angeles, Orange County, and Santa Barbara.
How is it different?
Helpr is fixing the industry through both B2C and B2B.
Through B2B, the company brings a culture of support to parents by taking the pain of HR screening out of childcare sourcing and booking.
Through B2BC, Helpr will get you a screened sitter to your door in as little as three hours– whether you’re at a hotel in Santa Barbara or at home in Los Angeles. All sitters are also much more thoroughly vetted compared to other babysitting services.
What market are you attacking and how big is it?
We’re taking on the combined in-home and on-campus childcare market, which is $300B annually in the US alone.
What is the business model?
Helpr is a booking platform that matches screened babysitters with parents in need of care. We charge a percentage of the transaction.
How do you address safety and background concerns in respect to the sitters on the platform?
We have a robust screening process for the helprs that’s built on a decade of experience in the childcare field. Our call line is open 14 hours a day if someone need us, too.
Tell us a little about your background and what inspired the business?
I grew up in an in-home childcare center that my mom ran. My business partner, Becka Klauber Richter (Co-Founder and President), is the oldest of 23 cousins. We’ve both worked our way through college at UCSB as babysitters, having met hundreds of parents and having placed over 100,000 hours of care in our careers.
Tell us what building your company in LA has been like?
It’s been wonderful. We have great talent, and it’s weather conducive for a healthy work/life merge.
What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within six months?
We plan to announce our first major corporate client as well as push legislation that supports companies that provide childcare with more robust tax credits.
If you could be put in touch with one investor in the community who would it be and why?
Cheryl Saban – she has an impressive story of building a strong position for herself and sharing it with women and children in need. She’s a true inspiration to our team. We’re passionate about building a big company with a big mission to support families.
What does being “Made in LA” mean to you and your company?
It means following the heart first and the data second; San Francisco is the other way around. Especially as a marketplace business, we’re seeing more success with companies that have industry experience first.
What else can be done to promote early stage entrepreneurship in Los Angeles?
It would be great to see the activity around angel investment in the city. There are great angels but they’re not as easy to access in LA without the structure of the several angel groups. At the early stage, you want to connect with people individually to build relationships and alliances. The structure of Q + A with 50 or so people can keep the conversation from getting sophisticated.
What is your favorite LA bar, when you need to kick back and relax?
After work at The Fairmont lobby in Santa Monica or under the canopy at Commissary at The Line in Koreatown.