By Brad Stone. You can find a maid or even a mate online, but parents are understandably cautious when it comes to baby-sitting. There’s an added sense of comfort that comes with knowing the sitter’s parents when you tear that phone number off the bulletin board at the gym.
It’s Lynn Perkins’s job to make hiring a sitter through a website feel safe as well as easy. She’s the co-founder and chief executive officer of UrbanSitter, a 20-employee San Francisco startup that’s trying to snag a piece of the fragmented $47 billion U.S. child-care business with its online marketplace. The company has facilitated more than 170,000 baby-sitting jobs since its 2011 founding, mostly in San Francisco and New York. It plans to announce on Feb. 13 that it has raised $15 million in funding led by DBL Partners, a venture capital firm that spun out ofJPMorgan Chase (JPM), and Match Group, IAC’s (IACI) dating site division.
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