UrbanSitter Raises $17M Series C, With Investors Including Women Customers

By Clare O'Connor
October 6, 2017

Women-led child­care book­ing ser­vice Urban­Sit­ter has raised a $17 mil­lion Series C as it expands to new cities, includ­ing Atlanta, Austin and Portland.

Rather unusu­al­ly for a Sil­i­con Val­ley fund­ing round, just over $1 mil­lion of this invest­ment comes from ‘pow­er users’ of Urban­Sit­ter, which links fam­i­lies to on-demand babysit­ters and nan­nies: a dozen influ­en­tial women.

The main appeal for them was that their lives would­n’t work with­out the ser­vice,” said CEO Lynn Perkins, who has now raised a total of $40 mil­lion to grow the start­up, which finds child­care providers in a cus­tomer’s area in under 3 minutes.

They love that I reached out to them,” Perkins said of the new cohort of women back­ers. “They’re equal con­trib­u­tors to their house­hold, but peo­ple pitch their hus­bands on the golf course. They’re not at the table. They’re not direct­ly approached.”
One of these investors, for­mer Gold­man Sachs man­ag­ing direc­tor Lin­nea Roberts, has made a point of fund­ing women founders and female-focused projects; she was one of the financiers of last year’s crit­i­cal­ly-acclaimed film ‘Equi­ty,’ the first Wall Street movie to exam­ine wom­en’s expe­ri­ence of the bank­ing world.

I want­ed to put my mon­ey where my mouth was,” said Roberts. “I had flex­i­ble cap­i­tal and want­ed to be mission-oriented.”

Perkins was a moth­er of twin tod­dlers in 2010 when she had her big idea after one too many babysit­ter can­cel­la­tions. She had been watch­ing com­pa­nies like OpenTable crop up, and won­dered why there was­n’t a sim­i­lar on-demand, tech-enabled mar­ket­place for babysit­ters and nannies.

It’s a great sto­ry of moms see­ing a prob­lem and using tech­nol­o­gy to attack it,” Roberts said. “The way we’ve been hir­ing babysit­ters has been entire­ly pedes­tri­an for too long.”

Read the full arti­cle at Forbes