Busy parents could benefit a lot from ridesharing, but they canât send their children alone in anÂ Uber until they are 18 years old.
Thatâs why several startups are trying to build an âUber for kidsâ concept, acting as a shuttle to take kids from school to soccer practice or home. Thereâs HopSkipDrive and Shuddle (which shut down),Â but now a newer entrant, ZÅ«m is said to be gaining traction.
Impressed with the progress since its early 2016 launch, Sequoia Capital is leading a $5.5 million Series A round for ZÅ«m.
ZÅ«m is becoming a âone-stop shop for busy families,â said Sequoiaâs Bryan Schreier. And âtheyâve done an especially good job working with schools, in addition to parents.â
Partnerships with schools is one way that ZÅ«m hopes to set itself apart from the pack. The startup has been working with more than 800 schools in the San Francisco Bay Area and Orange County, looking to provide a better alternative to a school bus.
With an emphasis on childcare, CEO Ritu Narayan says thereâs âhigher trust and safety because we provide a consistent set of drivers to the family.â ZÅ«m hires people with childcare experience like nannies, nurses and teachers.
Thatâs because ZÅ«m hopes its users will view the service as more than just a way to get their children from one activity to the next. The startup charges about $16 for a single ride and then $6 for every 15 minutes of care. (Group rates are lower per child and there are also monthly plans.)
Narayan says that the newly raised capital will help the business expand in new geographies and also hire more employees in marketing, operations and engineering.
Featured Image: Zum