Startup Showcase: Pearachute Founder Desiree Vargas Wrigley
Scott Kitun is back for week two of Startup Showcase. First, WGN Radio producer Michael Heidemann joined him in the studio to talk about ...
Hi Investors and supporters! We're having a great Q1, and this month Dallas should outpace our first 5 months in Chicago! I can't thank you enough for your support, questions, and enthusiasm.
I do have a quick request. Given that we only have four days left of the campaign, would you please share the link to the investment opportunity on your social channels? It would be great to close this with a bang...and maybe be the biggest campaign on Republic to date :)
Also, if you think it would be helpful, I'll be doing another webcast tomorrow with the Republic team. You can RSVP here.
Wishing you all a great week!
28% MoM user growth, 3.4x revenue growth since Aug, over 30K activities booked.
$32B and growing market opportunity
Backed by Techstars Ventures, Chicago Ventures, the founders of OKCupid, HotelTonight, SitterCity, and more.
Loved by partners: fills classes, increases revenue, and builds long-term memberships.
At Pearachute, we believe parents and children should spend more time playing and less time planning. But parents of children under 5 face a dilemma. We want our children to discover new activities they love, so we sign them up for art, swimming, music, and soccer.
But by the third visit, our 2 year old is crying in the corner or refusing to get in the water, and they still have 9 sessions left that can’t be refunded.
Unfortunately, the family activity industry is out of touch with today’s parents. Activity centers are poorly marketed and lock parents into expensive 10-12 week sessions for children too young to know what they like.
This is why we created Pearachute.
Pearachute is a monthly membership club that makes it easy for parents and caregivers to discover, book, and drop into the best family activities in your city all at the touch of a button all for one affordable rate.
Parents choose from three, six, or unlimited classes each month on PearachuteKids.com
Immediately, they can begin searching from the thousands of family friendly activities all over the city. They can even filter by their child’s age or interest.
Parents simply select a class, click “drop-in,” and select who will attend. Then they’re ready to play! It’s that easy!
Activities range from arts & music, to dance, to learning & development, to storytime, to sports - we have activities to suit the whims of any child.
Pearachute is the first comparable product to launch in multiple markets, and our solution provides more flexibility for our users and more convenience and better usability for our partners.
Each year, American families spend $32B on kids’ activities and millions of that is wasted in unattended classes because of changing nap schedules, runny noses, and surprise visits from Grandma.
And this market is only going to get bigger.
We make our revenue through subscriptions of $39, $79, and $129 per month depending on which plan our members select.
We pay our partners a discounted drop-in rate each time a child attends a class or activity.
Our margins average 29% across all three product offerings.
We profitably acquire every single member.
Q1: adding the ability to book birthday parties through Pearachute. Upgrading our partner facing product: the Partner Portal.
Q2: Launching the Pearachute native app. Adding the ability to book seasonal camps through Pearachute.
5x user growth in Chicago, Dallas, and Kansas City
Proving the scalability of our market launch playbook.
When I had my first son, Griffin, I was one of the first of my friends in Chicago to have a baby. I didn’t have a group to turn to get advice, and it wasn’t until my son entered daycare that I even realized I could sign him up for classes. At that point, I had missed the registration deadlines and ended up with an 8am soccer class that I ended up skipping because we couldn’t get out the door. I ultimately canceled and decided to try swimming, which was across the street. But after my second son, Aedan, arrived, I found it even more difficult to make it to scheduled classes. I thought there had to be a better way. I order my groceries, diapers, and coordinate my babysitters from my phone, why couldn’t I manage our recreational life as a family that way too?
So, with the help of an amazing team, we created Pearachute to make it easier and more affordable for families to discover and enjoy activities they all love.
For my family, the impact has been incredible. As a working mom/stepmom, Mondays are easier when I’ve taken the time to be truly present with my children as we play with clay or dance around a music class. And as a passionate promoter of entrepreneurs, I couldn’t be prouder of the fact that we’ve generated nearly $200,000 in revenue for local business owners.
I hope you’ll join us in bringing Pearachute to so many more cities with parents eager to spend more time playing and less time planning and business owners looking to connect with the families in their communities.
Founder & CEO: Desiree Vargas Wrigley
Prior to launching Pearachute, Desiree founded one of the world’s first crowdfunding platforms, GiveForward. After Yale, she worked at the Kauffman Foundation, where she discovered her passion for the impact entrepreneurship has on our communities.
Chairman: Sam Yagan
Sam is best known as the co-founder of OkCupid, and in 2013 was named to Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World” list. Sam also serves as the Vice-Chairman of Match.com.
Board Member: Paul Lee
Paul is a general partner at Builders VC and the CEO and co-founder of Builders Studios. As a former general partner at LightBank, Paul led investments in several successful internet firms, such as Udemy, CoffeeMeetsBagel, ElaCarte, Talentbin, Cleversense, and Contently. Paul also serves as an Adjunct Lecturer of Entrepreneurship at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management.
Our team is a group of women passionate about making life easier for parents and more fulfilling for children. Among us, we have over 35 years of early stage start-up experience and nearly 30 years of mother and caregiver experience. We understand both sides of our market, and we are thrilled by the impact we’re having on both.
Our current investors include individuals and firms with long histories of success, both as investors, and as entrepreneurs themselves. They provide consistent guidance, insight, and support to help Pearachute achieve profitable, sustainable growth.
Inspiring Children’s Curiosity and Passion.
We strive toward this mission by empowering parents and caregivers through convenience and choice. To us, this means making the best kids’ classes and activities available at the touch of a button, allowing parents to drop-in and explore during times that fit their schedule with the flexibility to accommodate late naps, stuffy noses, and unplanned visits from grandparents.
Strengthening Local Businesses.
Pearachute is not just about the bond between children and the people who care for them. We work closely with our partners to help them identify new ways to engage with their neighbors and grow their business.
Supporting Women Entrepreneurs.
The vast majority of our partners are women owned and operated businesses, started by founders who took their passion and created value for their local communities. A big part of our vision here at Pearachute is strengthening those businesses so they can continue to do the work they love in a sustainable way.
One of the main reasons we’re partnering with Republic is to empower women to invest in each other. Our hope is that these women owners contribute to and benefit from the successful outcome of Pearachute.
- Desiree Vargas Wrigley, Pearachute Founder & CEO
Choice of Camelbak kids water bottle or Pearachute T shirt
Choice of Camelbak kids water bottle or Pearachute T shirt, plus 3 free class pass gift certificate
Choice of Camelbak kids water bottle or Pearachute T shirt, plus 6 free class pass gift certificate
Choice of Camelbak kids water bottle or Pearachute T shirt, plus 1 month unlimited gift certificate
Choice of Camelbak kids water bottle or Pearachute T shirt, plus 6 months unlimited gift certificate
Choice of Camelbak kids water bottle or Pearachute T shirt, plus 1 year unlimited gift certificate
Choice of Camelbak kids water bottle or Pearachute T shirt, plus lifetime unlimited classes for 1 child
Choice of Camelbak kids water bottle or Pearachute T shirt, plus lifetime unlimited classes for a family (up to four kids)
Choice of Camelbak kids water bottle or Pearachute T shirt, plus lifetime unlimited classes for a family (up to four kids), plus seat on the Pearachute advisory board
Our simple, intuitive platform, as well as our unique market development playbook have allowed us to quickly scale both our partner relationships and user-base beyond our home market, and we have our eyes set on further expansion. Our team and board also bring decades of experience to the table, and know how to effectively address unmet needs in the market.
We operate a subscription model, whereby users pay us a monthly subscription fee of either $39, $79, or $129 for access to the classes and activities offered through Pearachute. We then receive a discounted rate from our supply partners on the courses they offer to our users. Our margins average 29% across our three product tiers.
We have both growth and product-specific objectives we're working towards. On the product side, we're looking to make significant improvements to our supplier facing product, the Partner Portal, which will further ensure that we have amazing inventory to offer our users. We're also building our native mobile app, as well as integrating the ability to book birthday parties and seasonal camps through Pearachute. On the growth side, we're aiming to achieve 5x user growth in our core markets, prove the scalability of our market launch playbook, and improve attrition, average revenue per user, and daily active users through better inventory and continuous product improvement.
Pearachute is a platform that enables parents and caregivers to discover, book, and drop into the best kids classes and activities in the cities in which they live. Pearachute enables our provider partners to connect with new customers and grow their businesses.
Pearachute successfully raised $250,000 from 324 investors on April 1, 2017
Looks promising. I will give the certs to my daughter for her daughter.PATRICK COLLINSInvested 29 days ago
I found Pearachute's board to have the sufficient amount of leadership necessary to become a successful company.David KessebehInvested 29 days ago
Love that it is women investors and I have small children so I think it is a great thing.Leslie Sheehy LeeInvested 29 days ago
I invested because I believe this business would help a lot of people. I needed this for my daughter and I need it now for my son. Hopefully, it would spread throughout the US and more. Plus I would like to see my money grow.LaTonya FloodInvested 29 days ago
Its good to help our kidsLarry CannonInvested 29 days ago
All that can be done to raise the stakes for child uplifting is worth the price!Yasir RushdanInvested 29 days ago
Investing in our children is investing into our future. As an engaged parent, it was a no brainer for me to invest in Pearachute.Shawn ArmstrongInvested 29 days ago
Interesting idea in a market with potential and solid team.Brandon Truong-PhanInvested 29 days ago
Kids are our best investment for our future! Great idea!john cookseyInvested 29 days ago
I invested because I think you have a great ides and I have young granchildren@!Francis FortiniInvested 29 days ago
Pearachute knows it's demographic and how to reach that demographic.Alan BurnesInvested 29 days ago
I believe in this startup who is clearly doing things the right way. I see that the market has a lot of potential and room for growth.Joan LanzagortaInvested 29 days ago
The concept is proven, the leadership team is rock solid and the opportunity to scale the business to other markets is huge.John JudnichInvested 30 days ago
Love their business model, I think is a great app that helps parents with kids activities, even if you are on vacationjose gomezInvested about 1 month ago
I invested because having kids myself it would of been nice to have them try different things to see what they like instead of having to commit to one thing to find out they don't like it and being stuck.Jason SchaefferInvested about 1 month ago
The idea of Pearachute answers the problem for parents when trying to learn the likes and dislikes of their child(ren).Michael LeeInvested about 1 month ago
I invested because I want love seeing intelligent ideas grow in the world that will affect my generation. As a 20 year old, I will one day have kids of my own and I will look to resources like this to help. People have to help each other out.Daniel MorrowInvested about 1 month ago
Addresses a real need. Experienced founders. Building the right thing.Peter LadaInvested about 1 month ago
Great idea of helping schedule classes interactively.Hashim BharoochaInvested about 1 month ago
I invested in Pearachute with no intention to make profit out of it but only to see the initiative excel and at the same time provide opportunities to other local businesses and individuals. I believe in "Let's grow together" motive. All the best.Mohith AgadiInvested about 1 month ago
My daughter uses this for my grandson, and the variety of activities available to them is unparalleled.Cassandra GreenInvested about 1 month ago
Desiree has a keen business sense, I have worked with her before, and I want to be a part of her success.Tim KrauskopfInvested about 1 month ago
I see a huge growth potential and scalability for the platform. It will be successful with well developed strategies and I count on the team to accomplish that.Omer YavuzInvested about 2 months ago
Desiree, Brittany, and the rest of the team's track record and her commitment to her work. Also, I believe in Pearachute's mission of parent engagement and live it myself every day with my two daughters.Chirag PatelInvested about 2 months ago
I invested because I think Pearachute is a GREAT idea!!! Being an insanely busy working mom of two kids, I often struggle with the problems they solve :)ISABELL MisiaszekInvested about 2 months ago
Looks like a great idea with a bright future.Casey MarlandInvested about 2 months ago
My wife was already using Pearachute, I know Desiree Vargas Wrigley, and Pearachute's growth rate looks impressive.Steve LindoInvested about 2 months ago
I like the service and think it has huge potential. I also like the perk of a free year of unlimited classesMargarita PalumboInvested about 2 months ago
I believe in Desiree and her team!Michelle AnastasiInvested about 2 months ago
Huge potential in a market that's yet to be fully disrupted. Great team of people who wants to help moms just like themselves.Edwin MakInvested about 2 months ago
The platform has built an effective bridge between parents look for classes with flexibility and partner locations trying to maximize their usage. Great idea to help parents in practical ways while helping small business.Dawn ZhangInvested about 2 months ago
I've heard moms at Commercial park ask one another if Pearachute partners with XYZ place. The word is out!heather arcaInvested about 2 months ago
I invested because I have confidence in Desiree, who is a great CEO.Elizabeth FisherInvested about 2 months ago
This is an underserved sector, and I'm glad to see Pearachute offering new resources to parents.Dan HeldridgeInvested about 2 months ago
I believe in Desiree and I see a real need for this subscription service for my own children.Elaine ChernovInvested about 2 months ago
One stop spot for finding activities for kids, with as easy workflow.Anand SwaminathanInvested about 2 months ago
I believe in the business and in Desiree. CUJ ;)Nate PierreInvested about 2 months ago
I believe in Desiree!Jill SalzmanInvested about 2 months ago
As a parent of a 19 month-old girl in Chicago, I can absolutely see the potential!Jeff KeyInvested about 2 months ago
I agree with their goals and see a strong business model for profitability and social success.Aleksandr KalikaInvested about 2 months ago
Great idea, great pitch at TechnoriChristopher DeVineInvested about 2 months ago
Because Desiree is a proven founder with an amazing progress with great scalability!Scott KitunInvested 2 months ago
private equity investment returns an average of 10x returns of the stock market over time.Charles HicksInvested 2 months ago
I see the risk vs reward ratio as pretty good on this one. Additionally, the founder of OKCupid being onboard does help.Robert TaltsInvested 2 months ago
I believe the company is a fabulous resource for busy families. It convenient to have so many options for activities in one place.Michelle ZurawskiInvested 2 months ago
It's like Class Pass for kids. :)Jennifer WaigandInvested 2 months ago
Desi is one of the most impressive people I've worked with and I've loved seeing what she's been doing with the inception of Pearachute.Susan SilverInvested 2 months ago
I recently had my 2nd child and am out on maternity leave. Purchased a 3-month Pearachute membership for my firstborn and the nanny and it's been a lifesaver for all of us - thanks Pearachute!Kate JoyceInvested 2 months ago
Knew the founder, the story, the vision and the journey and mostly the commitment to execution. Great job getting this far and good luck going the distance!Michael VazInvested 2 months ago
I invest because parachute helps bring our family closer together, every week!Lindsay SistiInvested 2 months ago
I believe that a variety of children's activities are very important to their character building and decision making and are positive attributes in their intellect, social and physical development.Enrique S Barlongo JrInvested 3 months ago
Desiree has created another amazing company and I want to see it succeed!Amy CowinInvested 3 months ago
Experienced team, great market, clear value proposition. Go get em!Alex GriffithsInvested 3 months ago
I like the business model and purposeVarelie CroesInvested 3 months ago
Amazing company that I've been hearing more and more about from other mom's and nannies. I see good things for this company in the future!Elizabeth DeBonisInvested 3 months ago
This is a need for young families which most of my generation did not have. I am a retired baby-boomer!Wilfred OpakunleInvested 3 months ago
Sounds like a much needed resource for parents.Lindsay LittleInvested 3 months ago
I believe in Desiree Wrigley.Aleksandra PrzymusinskiInvested 3 months ago
I can provide an idea for further benefit. If I get a multi unit package -say 6 sessions, let me take guests from other families. Charge my available sessions.morris gelmanInvested 3 months ago
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