Koru Kids raises £10m to make childcare more accessible

2 Sep 2019207 Views

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Childcare platform Koru Kids has raised £10m in funding, which the UK company will use to expand operations.

Koru Kids, a London-based ‘nanny-sharing’ platform, has raised £10m in Series A funding, bringing the total amount raised by the company to £14.1m.

The investment was led by Atomico, with previous investors AlbionVC, Samos, JamJar, Global Founders Capital, Forward Partners and 7 Percent also participating.

The start-up launched in 2016 with £600,000 in seed funding. One of the investors in the seed round was Gumtree co-founder Michael Pennington.

Koru Kids was founded by Rachel Carrell after she realised how difficult it was to arrange childcare in London. Prior to founding the start-up, she had worked in health technology.

Carrell had heard plenty of horror stories about the existing options, as well as stories from female friends who were unable to return to work as the offerings were expensive and inflexible. She quit her job and created Koru Kids in an attempt to offer affordable, convenient and high-quality childcare.

Koru Kids trains university students and older adults to become after-school nannies. To maintain a high standard, less than 6pc of applicants to the platform actually get to become nannies, according to the company’s website. Some of the older adults working for Koru Kids have previously worked in childcare or as primary school teachers. Around 32pc of the platform’s workforce comprises older adults.

A parent can book an after-school nanny that will work only with their children for £13 per hour, but if they opt to share a nanny with another local family, they get a reduced rate of £9 and their kids have someone else to play with.

Parents using the platform have to commit a minimum number of hours per week or month, in order to ensure that nannies have a fair opportunity to make money from the job.

The start-up handles payments, pensions and taxes, in a bid to make childcare easier for both parents and nannies.

There are now more than 1,000 nannies using the platform, who are all trained in first aid, educational philosophies, homework and risk assessment.

Funding

Koru Kids plans to use the £10m secured in the latest funding round to expand its operations and business reach.

Niall Wass, partner at Atomico, said: “Solving childcare for working parents is painful, time-consuming and expensive.

“We are backing Rachel and the Koru Kids team to build the digital solution to match families and their kids with top quality trusted care – making it simpler, safer and cheaper for the family, whilst creating flexible and higher earning opportunities for childcare professionals. We believe in their goal of becoming the most trusted name in childcare.”

Carrell added: “Despite being critical infrastructure for our society, childcare has been overlooked for far too long.

“We’ve already seen how profoundly our services can improve the wellbeing of families, as well as older adults and children who have a chance to connect with another generation while working. We’re excited for Atomico to help us scale our vision of building a completely new way of doing childcare so even more families can benefit.”

Kelly Earley is a journalist with Siliconrepublic.com

editorial@siliconrepublic.com