Blog 25: Kinside
Empowering parents with childcare discovery, access and affordability
Company: Kinside operates a dual-sided childcare platform designed to connect working parents with current openings at daycares and preschools across the country.
HQ Location & Year Founded: Claremont, CA, 2018
Founder: Shadiah Sigala is a serial entrepreneur who previously co-founded HoneyBook, a “unicorn” SaaS tech company that powers over 50,000 freelancers in managing their business and clients. She was the first member of her Mexican-American family to attend college, by receiving degrees from Harvard (Master's in Public Policy) and Pomona College (BA in Latin American Studies). She has authored groundbreaking studies regarding the gender pay gap and sexual harassment in the freelance economy, published on Fortune, Forbes, and Huffington Post, among others.
Funds Raised and VC Investors: $16 million from Able Partners, Alumni Ventures, Escondido Ventures, Haystack, Initialized Capital, January Ventures, K50 Ventures, Magnify Ventures, Maven Ventures, Precursor Ventures, Techstars, Wellington Access Ventures, Y Combinator
Where did the idea for Kinside originate?
In my previous role as co-founder of late-stage tech company Honeybook, I made it a priority to have a parent and family-friendly culture. As a young mom, I particularly saw the acute need that we have in this country for access to childcare. The US is the only industrialized nation that does not guarantee childcare access to all. I thought that there had to be a better way of solving the issue for parents and employers, while also offering a more seamless platform for childcare providers to serve their families.
What is the key problem that Kinside intends to solve?
We are making childcare more accessible and more affordable for countless families. Kinside helps parents to identify the most appropriate child care provider for their kids, based on individual preferences, proximity, price, and availability. We are also negotiating rates with providers to help bring down the cost. In addition, it was important to us to offer this service to employers as a benefit that demonstrates the value that they place in offering a parent and family-friendly workplace.
How are you most differentiated as a service?
Kinside has developed a vast nationwide network of childcare providers, both chain and independent. We give parents transparency for finding available care and we give providers that chance to fill open slots in a timely manner. Our negotiated discounts in enrollment fees are unique to Kinside and help bring down the financial burden on parents. The Kinside platform also offers seamless backend integration, including payments and CRM integration.
What are the company’s key accomplishments to date?
We are very excited to have signed up over 13,000 child care providers that will be connected to thousands of employers across the country. Perhaps more importantly, we are helping employees to save between 20-30% of the cost, which is a really big deal considering the average annual spend on child care is about $20,000 per child.
What lies ahead in the plans for Kinside?
We will be focused on converting as many employers as we can to paid customers by developing the right integration capabilities, such as scalable account management and nurturing a popeline of employee led referrals. We will keep deepening relationships with employers while improving our ability to match providers with families.
As any working parent knows, the challenge to finding the best available child care of infants and toddlers can be a stark wake up call and a humbling experience. Add in the dimension of cost, which nearly always runs considerably higher than even state college tuition, and the financial burden can become almost unbearable. As the government dithers on whether or not children younger than Kindergarten age (typically 5+) should be able to access free or inexpensive school or care (as it provided in nearly every other developed country in the world), families in the US are often left to fend for themselves and sometimes make very difficult decisions. This problem will not be solved overnight, but forward-thinking companies like Kinside are positioned to make an important dent in not only the cost, but access and information to determine which daycare is right for one’s kids.
Disclaimer: Alumni Ventures invested in the Series Seed round of Kinside in early 2020.