When Rebecca Lock wanted to return to the reality TV production business after having her two children, she encountered a problem many working parents face: How do you get them to all the places they need to go?
Unable to find someone who would reliably transport her young children, the Harrisburg-based entrepreneur eventually had to “say goodbye,” to her career, she said.
In 2019, she started thinking about technical solutions to the problem she and many other parents were facing. There are other kid-centric ridesharing services out there, but some that have tried have not been successful. Lock knew this would require a costly and time-consuming insurance and security process. Still, she spent three years trying to build the kind of app she wanted to use herself.
In mid-2022, Lock launched Kidcaboo, an Uber-like app used by parents and drivers to coordinate rides for children. A parent downloads the app from the iOS App Store or Google Play Store and fills in information about their child – medical needs, likes and dislikes, personality information, and so on. They can then schedule trips with a verified and security-cleared driver, where they receive a one-time fare estimate for the trip. They can track the driver’s GPS location at any time through the parent’s app.
A major motivation for Lock’s work was her own childcare experience, which influenced her career decisions. Women in particular often make difficult choices between providing care at home and building their careers. Many are involuntarily taken out of the labor equation. Kidcaboo aims to ease one of the common childcare burdens that working parents face, Lock said, “so their parents don’t have to be skipped over.”
“We thought, ‘What can work for these kids?'” she said. Not having access to a service like this “led to divorce, women retired — it’s a really, really bad problem.”
Lock works with a full-time team of about a dozen people and a five-person development group in India. The app is based on the open source UI software development kit Flutter. Kidcaboo first launched in Texas in the summer of 2022 and has since expanded to Connecticut, North Carolina, Arizona, Virginia, Nebraska and most recently Pennsylvania.
Lock is looking forward to working in her home state and contributing to the tech scene here, although she said she never imagined herself as an entrepreneur before starting this company. The app follows the guidelines for child transportation in each state in which it operates and while there is no defined age range for use, the app does not serve children who still require car seats with five-point belts.
Your team has set up a seed round and is preparing to raise a pre-Series A round. Though she didn’t disclose the amounts of the rounds, she said she received an investment from She’s Independent, a new, mission-driven, women-focused angel investment group. The group’s focus on advancing the careers of women and female founders resonated with Lock.
As the app expands in Pennsylvania, the founder said she looks forward to making more connections in the Greater Philly area. Kidcaboo currently operates in every county in the state except Philadelphia, and her team strives to build trust with parents and neighborhoods around the city. Lock said she’s had good responses when reaching out to investors in the Philadelphia and Pittsburgh areas.
“I think this state has a lot going for it to be a place where technology could really thrive,” Lock said.
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