Taking care of children is no walk in the park. Between parents’ busy lives and their children’s activities, appointments and obligations, it can be difficult to juggle everything.
Kango founder Sara Schaer understands firsthand how difficult parenthood can be. While working for a startup, she had two kids in preschool. For about a decade, she struggled to find a reliable sitter whom she trusted to drive her kids around and was also frequently available. She knew there was a niche in the market that needed to be filled.
“When my co-founder and CTO, Kaliyuga Sivakumar and I launched Kango, the success of a ridesharing service for kids was far from guaranteed,” Sara said in a press release. “We were confident that it filled a crucial need, but we didn’t know what the adoption rate would be. 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.”
Using the iOS or Android app, parents, guardians and caretakers can request a ride, childcare or both. The app’s calendar allows customers to book as many sessions as needed in a single request, making it easy to schedule ongoing services. Kango also partners with organisations like schools.
According to Tech Startups, Kango is the only ridesharing service insured to drive children of all ages, the only such service to offer on-demand, same-day rides with no booking cutoff times, as well as the only children’s ridesharing service to offer childcare without a time limit.
As Sara explained to Authority Magazine, “vetting drivers is the top priority.” Everyone who applies to be a driver or a sitter must have several years of childcare experience, a safe driving record, be at least 21 years old and have a car with four doors that is under 10 years. If those requirements are fulfilled, then an in-person interview, a 7-year criminal background check, and a thorough examination of their driving history come back. If that’s successful, then candidates receive a background check that covers their entire adult lives, fingerprinting and a name check through a child abuse registry. Those who pass the vetting process must then attend an orientation and training session to learn about defensive driving and childcare tips.
“To further help parents feel at ease, the app includes a chat function that lets newcomers talk with other users about their experiences,” Sara continued. “Kango will even send a driver for a meet-and-greet with a parent, or let parents ride along for free up to a $20 value. Plus, vehicles are fitted with tracking and communication devices, so concerned parents can see where cars are at all times, and can reach drivers whenever needed.”
Kango currently operates in the San Francisco Bay Area and the Greater Los Angeles metropolitan area. The startup’s recent $3.6 million funding round will be used to expand operations and service areas throughout the US.