KidPass raises $5.1 million for its children’s activity subscription service

KidPass, a monthly membership program that dedicates mothers access to a variety of kid-friendly activities across their city, has raised $5.1 million in Series A fund, the startup reported the coming week. Currently live in New York, the new funds will allow the service to expand to new marketplaces including L.A ., San Francisco, Seattle, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington D.C ., and Chicago.

The round was led byJavelin Venture Partner, with participation from new and existing investors, including CoVenture, Y Combinator, TIA Ventures, Bionic Fund, Cocoon Ignite Ventures, and FJ Labs among others.

Jed Katz, Managing Director at Javelin, and Rachel Jarrett, President of Zola, will join KidPasss Board of Directors as a result of this funding.

The idea for KidPass is similar to ClassPass a subscription service for adults looking to try different fitness classes around township, like yoga, cycling, Pilates, dance, and others. Though KidPasshas a similar name, the two companies are not related.

However, KidPass runs a lot like ClassPass does. Clients pay one monthly fee then can try class all over town.

KidPassco-founder Solomon Liou explains he and his fellow founders, Aaron Kaufman, Chhay Chhun, and Olivia Ballv, decided to start the company after becoming mothers themselves and became frustrated with how difficult and time-consuming it was to find great activities for their kids.

While there were mobile apps to instantly book eateries, doctors, and taxis on-demand, there wasnt anything like that for kids activities, says Liou. In fact, the main way that parents discover children class today is still through word of mouth from talking to other mothers, or utilizing Google Search and going through page after page of results. Its period consuming and difficult to navigate, with many industries not even having a presence online, he adds.

Plus, even when you received a class, many providers only took in-person enrollments, or involved you to book upfront pays for semester-long programs all before you know if your child will even like the course, Liou notes.

To use KidPass today, parents choose from one of three membership alternatives which start at $49 per month. These subscriptions offer credits that can be used to pay for the various activities, like dance classes, arts and crafts activities, athletics, museum class and camps, science and technology classes, swimming classes, children cook classes, fitness classes, academic class and many more.

At present, there are over 900 activity providers using the platform, like Gymboree, Kidville, Music Together, Super Soccer Stars, Physique Swimming, The Craft Studio, Chocolate Works, the Museum of Modern Art, YMCA, JCC, and others.

Since its launching in January 2016, 20,000 families have signed up for the service and have booked over 100,000 activities. There are today over3, 000 subscribers in NYC, and the KidPass is growing at 20 to 30 percentage nearly every month, Liou says.

The service works by offering mothers a certain number of credits that can be used per month to book activities. The basic tier includes 10 credits and subsistences up to 2 children. The middle tier supportings up to 5 children and includes 25 credits. And the highest tier supports limitless kids and 50 credits.

Someactivities merely take one or two credits, but other premium activities and camps could take 10 ormore. Any unused credits will roll over for three months, in case parentsget busy and cant use thecredits right away.

This credits-based system could help KidPass avoid the problems that plagued ClassPass that companyeventuallyhad to raise costs and ditch its limitless tier in order to stay afloat.

[ The utilize of credits] allows us to charge differing prices to the parents depending on the activitys cost to make sure that parents get a great deal, while ensuring that the unit economics progressing well for us as a marketplace supporting both businesses and families, explains Liou. We have had positive gross margins as a business because of our business model, and we intentionally avoided any unlimited schemes that could be highly unprofitable, he says.

There are a few reasons why mothers would want to pay for a service like this instead of booking immediately with a class provider.

Most importantly, however, is that KidPass providesa means of discovery for childrens activities. In the large markets KidPass serves, there are so many activities available that parents may not know of all their available options. They also might not want to commit to booking multiple sessions with an activity provider before being able to try out the class or camp first.

KidPass isnt the only startup tackling this space. It vies with others likeSawyerandPearachute, for example.

In addition to expanding to new markets, KidPass isdeveloping software for activity providers that helps with class management, online enrollments scheduling and pays. This software is in private beta with some KidPass partners.

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