Beta Byte is a series underwritten by Bust Out Solutions for that early stage tech found somewhere between idea and traction.
What is the name of the company and/or product?
Sittereco is your word-of-mouth mobile app network of recommended parents and sitters. Learn more at www.sittereco.com.
What distinct problem does this solve for who and how does this create value for them?
Sittereco addresses a problem rooted in trust for two target segments:
Working, transplant parents with minimal childcare support – All parents are working in more than 6 out of 10 US households with children. Yet, 51% of families don’t hire babysitters because it’s stressful to find someone they like.
Self-employment-seeking female sitters – Female employment represents only ⅕ of a growing on-demand workforce. With
97.1% of the babysitting industry being women, here’s an opportunity to empower women.
Sittereco enables parents and sitters to build their own trusted word-of-mouth network of recommendations. Think LinkedIn for Babysitting. The timing couldn’t be better.
How did you come up with the idea / what was your motivation for starting?
Necessity is the mother of invention. My husband and I moved to the Twin Cities after b-school to join BCG and General Mills. But five years and two toddlers later, the anxiety around finding last minute childcare triggered an unmanageable reality. So last winter I resigned from Mills to solve this problem.
Though triggered by need, my motivation is deeper-rooted. My dad, whom I lost this year, left India in 1969 with $8 and no opportunity. He built a business from the ground up, changing the course of our lives. I had to pursue this entrepreneurial venture, in his honor.
What is the full launch/release date planned?
We just kicked off the closed beta testing this week, so we’re excited to celebrate this milestone.
Our plan from here is to get more 1:1 user feedback over the coming weeks/months with closed test users, and from there release the beta to the public to further drive user acquisition and engagement.
The goal is to have the full launch in 1H2017, contingent upon all the beta learning between now and then.
Who is on the team?
I’m the Founder/CEO hustling and bustling, on the hunt to build out my team: Mana Sanghvi
That being said, Jeff Lin and Paul Cantrell from Bust Out Solutions (www.bustoutsolutions.com) have been fantastic thought partners in building our Beta.
Paul, a kind, smart senior developer and friend, led two talented summer interns, Cody Molho and Kevin Mei (rising juniors at Macalester and Carleton, respectively) to bring this product to life. It’s been exciting to leverage the brand philosophies of support and empowerment from conception.
And finally, a small army of Sittereco believers who helped us research, model, and strategize our way here.
What is the specific technology or combination of technologies is used?
It’s an Ionic app (thus Angular + Cordova) with a JSON-based REST API implemented in Rails + Postgres and deployed on Heroku.
What is the size/scope of your market and how will you scale?
In 2015, 44 million US households spent over $280B on care. Sittereco, the first recommendation-based solution, will steal share and grow the category.
Initial markets include mid-sized US cities that attract 1) transplants with Fortune 500 companies, 2) babysitting college students, and 3) a daycare vs nanny-seeking market, to maximize sitting relationships per user.
To scale, we will leverage the built-in product virality through which users can invite, recommend, and connect with their trusted parent and sitter friends.
Finally, Sittereco’s brand of support and empowerment enables us to differentiate beyond childcare, creating mentorship between career-driven parents and women seeking opportunity.
Who is the customer and what is your revenue model?
We have a few key customer groups, but the three priority segments are Parents, Sitters, and Corporations.
Benchmarking against industry competition, we will implement quarterly subscription fees for individual users (at divergent price-points for parent and sitter segments), and annual subscription fees for corporations.
But, like any other network solution product, there is value in a heavy user base. So the product will be free initially to drive user engagement.
What is your greatest strength?
Developing a solution in a wide-open market through a CPG lens. “Consumer is boss” of community, support, and empowerment forward.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
Any parents and sitters interested in joining the closed beta test for initial user feedback – send me a note at [email protected]. And all Sittereco supporters, follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter! Let’s support and empower one another!