We talked to Priya Amin of Flexable on how the startup is creating innovative childcare solutions to help Life and Work f...
Childcare breakdowns are costly to the U.S. economy
A lack of childcare has a significant economic impact on lost earnings, productivity, and revenue.
As professionals and moms, we’ve been there. You don’t have sitter coverage and miss a meeting that could help your career. School is closed and you need to use vacation to cover. Those costs add up. It takes a personal toll.
There is incredible societal productivity lost. And with the onset of COVID-19, childcare gaps are exacerbated. 43 states are closed for the remainder of the school year. Summer camps cannot open. Parents are in an unprecedented situation. They need to meet their professional commitments and take on additional parenting and education responsibilities at the same time.
Flexable’s on-demand childcare is the answer.
Flexable: On-demand childcare for businesses and their employees
Flexable is one of the only B2B child care marketplaces that partners with employers to provide employees on-demand childcare anytime, anywhere it’s needed. Since 2016, we’ve provided businesses on-demand, safe, trusted childcare on-site at more than 1,000 events and office locations around the country. We’ve built relationships with 150 organizations and expanded relationships into broader workplace childcare solutions.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, delivering on our mission to make Life + Work Fit has taken on an entirely different meaning. We expanded our offerings to provide on-demand support to those working remotely at home -- online -- through new Flexable Virtual MiniCamps.
Flexable’s business model is resilient. With on-demand offerings both on-site and virtually we can provide businesses a solution for employee childcare coverage either on location or remotely. We are here as companies navigate an uncertain time and need to both accommodate remote work and a return to work while schools and camps remain closed.
Easy-to-book, trustworthy, on-demand childcare
Companies can schedule background-checked, vetted Flexable caregivers on-demand to pop-up and provide activities for kids on-site or online while parents work.
The process is plug and play.
- Schedule your event, single day or multi-day childcare need through Flexable’s website.
- Vetted caregivers pick up events and shifts that fit their schedule.
- Flexable team members arrive onsite or online with the supplies they need for kids to have an amazing experience.
Flexable offers two on-demand products.
- On-site on-demand care for events, conferences or multi-day needs like school closures or camps,
- Virtual MiniCamps are 30- and 60-minute online activities for kids 3 - 10. Example activities include story time, book club, arts and crafts.
Flexable launched MiniCamps in April 2020 as a response to the pressures placed on working families during the COVID-19 pandemic. There is heavy parent interest to trial virtual engaging activities for kids currently home while school is closed due to COVID-19. Virtual sessions are ‘sticky’ with kids and parents showing good loyalty to offerings they like. Outschool, a company that offers online courses that cater to a slightly older target market, has raised $10M in series A funding. Outschool offers classes at an average price of $18 recently noted that 60% of course attendees are repeat users.
Flexable is unique because we schedule MiniCamps at the request of our business partners at times when professionals need to give their full attention to work. For example, when lawyers need to take a deposition or individuals attend therapy sessions that are critical as many of us look to prioritize mental health throughout the pandemic. While adults take their meeting, kids attend a separate session with others their own age in facilitated small groups providing the interaction kids crave in a fun engaging format throughout.
Initial parent survey results during a two-week MiniCamp beta test show 89% of beta testers would use the service once a week, and 100% said they would recommend Virtual MiniCamps to friends. Parents shared this feedback:
“I think this is a great resource for any parent who needs to make a call, prep a meal, or just take a break”
“I was shocked my child was engaged the whole time!”
1,000+ events and 150 business partners
Flexable has a strong foundation in on-demand childcare with $200,000 in revenue, 150 business relationships and 1,000+ events, and 2,500 children served.
There is a high level of trust and name recognition from existing business customers. We are starting with these customers to grow the online MiniCamps product.
Our partnerships have included
Flexable customers represent large corporations and small businesses across a variety of sectors
Flexable is first and foremost focused on business customers. A secondary customer is the employees of those businesses, who are Flexable users. Flexable currently has 150 business customers. Our customers are large corporations and small businesses and represent a variety of sectors such as healthcare, technology and the public and social sector.
Hear from our clients:
Generating revenue in an untapped B2B market
Our quotes are based off of the number of children, size and location of the event and other company details that are addressed in this personalized booking process.
Minicamps are priced at $15 per user (device) for 30-minute activities and $30 per user or 60-minute activities and have a 70% margin.
Companies can contract with Flexable for full day or multi day coverage (i.e., school holidays), a series of MiniCamps or a mix of on-site childcare and MiniCamps.
Addressing a $42 Billion economic opportunity
Parents of young children spend $42 billion on annual childcare. Finding qualified sitters is often difficult and time consuming for working parents, who are already juggling a heavy workload.
Businesses want to support working parents to be successful. 71% of companies strive to be more inclusive of working parents. 9 of 10 large companies offer dependent care flexible spending accounts up to $5,000. Through business partnerships there is an opportunity to provide fully or partially subsidized childcare to working parents and cover childcare gaps, improve productivity, inclusion and employee retention.
Flexable's B2B focus is unique in the childcare market
Providing on-demand childcare to businesses is unique in the marketplace. Only 7% of companies offer on-site childcare as an employee benefit today and there is huge white space.
Flexable is different from services like Care.com or Urban Sitter. All offer childcare matching services but Flexable focuses on care for small groups of children and businesses, not parents, as customers.
As Flexable enters the online space we face a host of new competitors, including those offering free content. The hosted small group format is different from most competitors whose content is consumed and doesn’t allow for child to child interaction that kids crave.
A goal to help Life + Work fit
As the world transforms, we're here to help. Organizations around the country want to better support their staff, clients, and partners who are juggling work and family life.
Flexable envisions a world where our platform is seamlessly integrated into existing workplaces, event planning, and beyond.
By reaching our funding goal, we will grow our contracts to 400+ businesses, which at our current renewal rate, will increase our revenue to $6M by 2022.
We are changing the entire supportive ecosystem for parents, one where companies, parents, and children can all benefit.
$500,000 raised to date
We've raised over $0.5M from institutional and private investors, including AlphaLab and Innovation Works, and from friends/family round. This marks the kickoff of our seed stage round.
Led by an all-female team
With two decades of professional experience AND 5 kids between our two founders, our leadership intimately understands what happens when childcare falls through. We've watched top talent (including ourselves) face the huge barrier to success that is finding care: parents have missed conferences, cancelled networking events, and ended careers because care isn't available. We're here to change that.
Priya Amin, Co-Founder and CEO
Priya, who holds an MBA from the University of Arizona, and worked as a product and brand manager at corporations such as IBM and Nestle, left her high-powered career to be home with her two boys, and never looked back. After successfully launching and running a marketing consulting firm called ROKI, she began looking for ways to continue fostering creativity and entrepreneurship among women. She launched Flexable, LLC in 2016 with her partner Jessica Strong, and was accepted to the 16th cohort of the AlphaLab Accelerator program in 2016.
Jessica Strong, Co-Founder and Advisor
Jessica Strong has a master’s in public policy/non-profit management from Carnegie Mellon. She has worked in education, mental health, as a freelance grant writer, and created a coworking space with on-site childcare prior to launching Flexable in 2016 with her co-founder, Priya Amin. She has 3 kids, a husband that runs his own company, and a dog, and this combination means that she doesn’t really have time for any hobbies that don’t involve napping or coffee.