Parents who have children understand this situation very well. From birth to Kindergarten, parents are working around the clock to ensure their child is safe, well provided for and overall happy. All of these things are not easy tasks and quite frankly can be exhausting.
That is why Sara Schaer developed the mobile app, Kango because she was one of the parents who faced the similar problem as a working parent. Kango is a mobile service that provides safe transportation and childcare for kids of any age – from preschool to high school, so that parents and kids can pursue their dreams without sacrificing each other. Too many parents, especially mothers end up quitting their jobs or scaling back their careers because they can’t make it work.
Schaer had struggled with getting 2 children where they needed to go, during the work day when she was at the office, or on business trips. She realized that smartphones helped immensely with juggling work on the go – but that was just voice, data or text. Kids required actual people – caregivers and drivers that could be trusted. If it wasn’t a parent or family member, who could that be?
Schaer left her job at Snapfish.com and decided to focus on finding a solution to this problem together with her former co-worker and lead engineer, Kaliyuga Sivakumar. They came out with the first version of the app, which was called “KangaDo” and helped parents connect with each other for carpools. Eventually they applied to and were accepted into the 500 Startups accelerator, receiving their first outside investment.
Soon thereafter, based on user feedback, they decided to focus on paid rides and care from pre-screened drivers and sitters that they would provide for a fee. Schaer launched the Rides and Care pilot in spring 2015, got licensed in the fall, and took off in early 2016.
Kango’s pricing model has 3 parts: first, a monthly membership of $9/month per family which gives parents access to book any Kango driver/sitter on the platform, for pre-scheduled or on demand rides and/or childcare. It helps to cover the cost of ongoing driver and sitter screening and safety measures such as vehicle inspections.
Second, ride fares are calculated based on time and distance, and Kango keeps a modest commission. The minimum fare is $16. Babysitting is charged based on an hourly rate.
Third, similar to ridesharing services for adults, there is a $1 per ride Safe Ride which helps to cover mileage-based insurance costs.
When asked about the goal for Kango, Schaer said by the end of 2017, Kango aims to be the number 1 Rides and Care for kids service in the San Francisco Bay area, with geographical expansion underway.
Kango is a good example of O2O startup. The mobile app enables parents to look online for rides and childcare for their children, the services will be occurred offline when the drivers or sitters take care of the children.