With bus driver shortages, the predictability of getting kids to school on time is no longer a given. While working from home has created more opportunities for flexible schedules, it still doesn’t afford many parents the ability to drop off and pick up their kids from school. HopSkipDrive is the ride service app for transporting kids, whether to school or activities, relieving parents of this duty. The company’s CarDrivers all have a minimum of 5 years of caregiving experience, passed a 15-point certification process, fingerprinting, strict background checks, and undergo continuous DMV and background record monitoring. The startup, founded by three working mothers, places a critical emphasis on providing a dependable service with vetted drivers to allay concerns that parents may have. Since its founding in 2014, HopSkipDrive has served more than 1.4M rides. The startup is focused on expanding to eventually provide nationwide service and is currently live in 21 markets across 12 states. The company also works directly with 400+ school districts and counties to assist with their student transportation requirements. LA TechWatch caught up with HopSkipDrive CEO and Cofounder Joanna McFarland to learn more about the business, the company’s strategic plans, latest round of funding, which brings the total funding raised to $123.8M, and much, much more…
Small businesses have been devastated by the pandemic and neighborhood schools and studios are no different. There has been a wave of innovation that empowers these small businesses to rapidly digitize to address changing customer preferences. Finli is the small business management platform and payment solution for these family-centric businesses that have been traditionally reliant on paper and pencil models. On the platform, parents and caretakers connect their bank accounts or credits to schedule and process payments for their children’s education, while schools and studios can invoice, streamline payments, and service their customer bases. LA TechWatch caught up with CEO and Founder Lori Shao to learn more about the critical service the platform provides to family businesses, the company’s future plans, and recent seed extension round from investors that include MaC Venture Capital, TechStars Los Angeles, Core Innovation Capital, and Muse Capital.
Latinos are one of the fastest-growing demographic groups in the United States, representing approximately 20% of the US population. However, 50% of Latinos are underbanked. SUMA Wealth is the fintech platform designed specifically for the Latino community to engage, educate, and empower young millennial/ Gen Z Latinos to manage their finances and take control of their financial futures. LA TechWatch caught up with CEO and Cofounder Beatríz Acevedo to learn more about the importance of financial inclusion for Latinos, the company’s goal to help create generational wealth, and future plans.
“Teachers who build math and language games are our best experts in curriculum, but they don’t fully understand how children play. Developers who build games don’t understand how children learn. We wanted to combine these worlds of learning and play in a powerful new way that can transform the learning experience for kids around the world.” LA TechWatch caught up with CEO and Cofounder Bill Kara to learn more about Math Games, how the shift to online learning has impacted demand, and the company’s future plans.
While working at the largest 529 provider in the United States, Ksenia Yudina saw firsthand the inefficiencies with the process of setting up college savings plans. She launched UNest to make it more accessible for parents to start saving for college without complex paperwork and exorbitant cost. With UNest, parents can set up 529 plans in less than 5 minutes and it only costs $3M per month. Yudina shares more about the UNest’s mission, the company’s impressive growth, and recent funding round from investors that include Anthos Capital, Baron Davis, Northwestern Mutual Ventures, Artemis Fund, Draper Dragon, and Unlock Ventures.
Financing education is a problem with coasts soaring and this problem is compounded upon graduation when many do not have any significant credit history, with the only reference being a ballooning student loan. Hatch Credit allows users to build a credit score through non-traditional data points such as subscriptions. Hatch Credit’s Director of Public Relations, Shamara Carney, reveals more about Hatch and how this company is making the financial system more inclusive.
The impact of technology on a child’s development can not be understated today. Embodied through Moxie, the revolutionary robot companion, helps kids build social, emotional, and cognitive skills through everyday play. LA TechWatch caught with CEO and Founder Paolo Pirjanian to learn about his vision to change the world through the ones that have the most impact: children…
The hype around esports is real. The highest-earning competitive gamer Johan Sundstein, better known as N0tail, raked in a total of around $6.9M for Dota 2, so it’s no surprise that more people are looking to become competitive gamers. ProGuides is the structured, curriculum-based learning tool helping beginners become competitive and expert gamers to practice […]
Higher education is more expensive than ever. On average, Americans complete undergrad with approximately $35.5K in student loan debt according to Experian. U-Nest is the mobile app for college savings that encourages parents to take a proactive approach to college savings. By downloading the app, parents set up a tax-advantaged 529 college saving plan in just […]
You’re confident that your education technology product is going to support student learning and success in the K-12 sector. You’ve assembled your team, and your engineers are ready to go to work. The market research tells you that with the right investment to back your launch and a good dose of sweat equity, your business […]
Technology has increasingly become the focus of education aid and international action. However, much of these education resources are predicated on schools having reliable access to the Internet. While traveling through Mauritania, I saw computers sitting, dust-covered, on shelves because they couldn’t be kept charged, and well-designed education materials unused because they relied on Internet […]