child care startup
Finding and affording child care is one of the biggest challenges parents face. Kinside makes the process easier by not only providing a marketplace of verified carers but also helping parents tap into their flexible spending accounts (FSA) and other benefits to afford care. Today, the company announced it has raised $12 million in Series A funding, in a round led entirely by mothers. They include Sasha McKenzie of Wellington Access Ventures; Joanna Drake of Magnify Ventures; Initialized’s Alda Leu Dennis; and Maven Ventures’ Sara Deshpande. The round brings Kinside’s total funding so far to $16 million. TechCrunch first covered the Y Combinator alum when it announced a $4 million seed round led by Initialized in December 2019.
Brittney Barrett, Kinside co-founder and chief marketing officer, told TechCrunch that the round’s composition came together organically.
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Kinside was founded in 2018, after co-founder and CEO Shadiah Sigala spent weeks calling daycares and preschools, trying to find a place that would take her baby son and three-year-old daughter. Since its launch in 2019, Kinside’s marketplace has grown to thousands of child care centers, and it is used by parents from over 3,000 employees who use it to search for open child care spots and get pre-negotiated tuition rates. To qualify for Kinside’s marketplace, carers need to be licensed by the state and also pass Kinside’s safety vetting requirements. Barrett explained that the company worked with state licensing experts to develop a proprietary state-by-state vetting framework that evaluates years of license and visitation history and has a national failure rate of 5%.
Barrett said that Kinside leverages the volume of the employer-based system to pre-negotiate rates with providers. It integrates with dependent care FSAs so parents can use their pre-tax funds as they become available and blends them with secondary payment methods, like their bank account. This eliminates the need for claims and reimbursements, making the process of paying for child care with benefits easier.
Kinside takes an agnostic approach to the kinds of employers it works with. For example, Barrett said they range in size from employers in the tech space with 20 employees and ones in the manufacturing sector with 20,000.
child care startup