Merchant Innovation

HopSkipDrive Revs Up Its Seed Funding

HopSkipDrive, a ride-sharing startup in California that helps parents get their kids from one place to another, has raised $3.9 million in seed funding.

TechCrunch said in a report Tuesday (July 14) that the company had received the funds through a round led by Upfront Ventures. Participants alongside Upfront included FirstMark Capital, Maveron, BBG Ventures and others.

Under the HopSkipDrive business model, parents book rides for their kids, scheduled with a “CareDriver,” and then are sent a short bio of that driver, said TechCrunch. A code word is also given for the ride, ensuring some measure of security. The ride-sharing app offered by the company lets parents or other guardians track the ride in real time.

The company says it vets its fleet of drivers, now numbering more than 100 individuals, through a 15-point process. Within this process drivers must show they have at least five years of experience with giving child care, pass background checks and even be fingerprinted. As the service operates in California, the HopSkipDrive model also ensures that their drivers are TrustLine-certified, which is a form of child care certification. The drivers themselves operate as 1099 contractors.

TechCrunch notes that HopSkipDrive has a model that is a bit different from larger ride-sharing companies/apps such as Lyft and Uber. The HopSkipDrive payment system lets parents buy and schedule rides for $20 each. Alternatively, they can also schedule a package of rides, which in turn triggers discounts. In that event, the per-ride charge can come down to roughly $12. The company defines a ride as a trip that is less than five miles, or alternatively, 30 minutes. Should a trip exceed those thresholds, additional fees begin to kick in at $1 for every extra mile driven and $.5o for every extra minute.

 

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