Kango, an Uber-like service for kids startup, nabs $3.6 million Series A funding to provide rideshare and childcare service for busy families
Kango, a ridesharing service for kids and provider of trustworthy help for moms on the go, has raised $3.6 million to to expand operations and service area. The round was led by a strategic investment from National Express, the premier transportation firm which operates a fleet of more than 25,000 vehicles. As part of the funding agreement, Kango also announced that David A. Duke from National Express is joining its board.
Founded in 2012 by Kaliyuga Sivakumar and Sara Schaer, KangaDo is a free app for iPhone and Android that enables busy parents and their trusted friends, to help each other get more done. All with peace of mind. Kango was designed to meet the ride and childcare needs of working parents – as experienced firsthand by working mom and founder Sara Schaer – and has been the choice ridesharing service for thousands of parents throughout California. Additionally, Kango partners directly with schools, camps and other youth organizations to safely shuttle children within those groups to designated activities.
“Now more than ever, the technology and services that Kango provides will fill a growing need by catering to busy families in both the childcare and transportation spaces. We are confident in the business model in which Kango operates and feel that their focus on safety and reliability sets them apart from any other company that is currently operating within this space. Furthermore, our investment in Kango will allow their management team to continue to seize upon current growth opportunities by expanding in other metropolitan cities throughout the United States,” said Judith Crawford, CEO, National Express Transit and Shuttle.
Of note among ridesharing companies, Kango has achieved positive unit economics, and makes money on the rides that are completed via its platform – whether the rides are booked by families directly, or by organizations such as schools.
From a customer perspective, Kango is also the most comprehensive rideshare for kids solution available. It is the only rideshare insured to drive children of all ages, the only such service to offer on-demand same-day rides with no cutoff time for booking, and the only kids’ ridesharing provider to also offer childcare without a time limit. Separately from rides, parents can book standalone childcare, a benefit of the app that is growing in popularity as all drivers and sitters are thoroughly vetted, background-checked and Trustline caregiver certified in California.
Kango will use the funding to fuel its responsible growth strategy, which to date has proven Kango to be the safest, most reliable rideshare in the marketplace and the choice provider of rideshare for kids services by parents. Currently available in the San Francisco Bay Area and the Greater Los Angeles metropolitan area, Kango plans to grow operations and expand geographically to meet the growing demand for safe rides from families and organizations across the country.
“We are proud to announce this investment from National Express, the leading school transportation corporation,” said Kango co-founder & CEO Sara Schaer. “As a partner, National Express brings vast scale and knowledge of the school, transit, and shuttle transportation industry, while also sharing our commitment to safety and a family-first mission and vision.”
National Express joins other Kango investors, including Structure Capital, an early Uber investor, following on in this round. Other strategic relationships include a partnership with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), in which the Chrysler brand provided a fleet of new Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid plug-in minivans to eligible Kango drivers for an affordable lease, to promote safety and environmental stewardship. The partnership brings top-of-the-line technology, comfort and service to Kango customers – both families and schools.
As part of Kango’s commitment to trust and safety, the company has a rigorous screening and in-person interview process for all drivers and childcare providers; the process includes multiple background checks, DMV record checks, employer reference checks, vehicle inspections, fingerprinting and TrustLine caregiver certification.
“When my co-founder and CTO, Kaliyuga Sivakumar and I launched Kango, the success of a ridesharing service for kids was far from guaranteed. We were confident that it filled a crucial need, but we didn’t know what the adoption rate would be,” said Schaer. “Now, it’s evident that the marketplace has been validated as parents rely more and more on Kango’s service, and it’s exciting to see the demand coming from cities across the country. Kango is committed to continuing to be the most reliable, trusted, safest rideshare service and we’re looking forward to this new period of opportunity and growth.”