Childcare is a tough topic for many families because there’s a great deal of trust involved — this person is watching your kid — so it would be great if there was an easy way to find reliable, trustworthy, and vetted providers.
Trusted hopes to be that solution and is launching today in San Francisco. This service lets busy, on-the-go parents request a verified caretaker for those occasions when they need someone to watch their children for a few hours. But here’s the thing: These aren’t people that you’d find on Craigslist or in the Help Wanted section of a newspaper. Trusted does the necessary background checks to make sure these people can do the job so you have some peace of mind.
Started by former Threadflip chief product officer Anand Iyer and Amazon marketing lead Vivian Chan, the company goes through a pretty detailed process before a potential childcare provider even sets foot in your door.
Besides background checks, Trusted runs DMV checks, looks at terrorist and sex offender registries, as well as contacting references and conducting in-person interviews. After this, they’ll have the candidate shadow one of their providers on a real job. Lastly, there’s the “Ava sniff test”, in which Iyer really puts it all on the line: The candidate has to watch his daughter.
The idea behind the company is simple: Find someone reliable and safe to watch your children when you need them. Trusted is going to be the intermediary to help arrange everything.
“I don’t want parents to go through what Shreya and I went through. We want to give parents their lives back,” Iyer said in his blog post. “I really hope we can play a part in improving marital happiness.”
Through the use of an iOS app, parents can request a provider to come to their home. From the supply side, providers will be able to get the details about the parent, including information about the child, any pertinent information about the home, and so on. Matches are made in the short-term, but Iyer said he’s seeing that long-term need is coming into play.
All providers will have valid CPR certification and are immunized for TDAP, MMR, Varicella, and Influenza. Trusted says many are registered nurses and/or nursing students.
In this day of on-demand companies, it’s easy to imagine that these workers would be independent contractors. However, in Trusted’s case, they’re employees. Their schedules are synced with the company’s platform and they are given paychecks for their time. The exact amount paid to these providers is unknown, but Iyer said he’s coming up with a payment system.
Once in the home, providers can set parents up with a live video stream of their children. In the Trusted app, there’s a video capability that, with the parents’ explicit consent, will show what the child is doing. The app also has a geolocation feature that will help parents see where their provider is on a map. This adds to the parents’ peace of mind, knowing they can take action if they see the provider is not in the home or their children are someplace they shouldn’t be. Iyer told VentureBeat that a geofencing component may be added in the future.
Both parents and providers can rate each other, just as with Uber, Lyft, Postmates, etc. This adds to the parents’ peace of mind, as they can see reviews from their peers on a particular provider. Likewise, providers who are unsure about parents have access to the same kind of peer feedback.
And while Trusted offers an extensive screening process for candidate providers, parents may be subject to the same level of scrutiny. The company says it’ll be looking to validate parents soon, requiring authentication with Facebook, Social Security numbers or passport ID in order to do a quick background check.
Trusted takes a cut of every transaction, but declined to provide specifics, saying only that the fee varies “based on velocity.”
You might be thinking of Trusted as similar to Care.com, which has become a dominant force in its space. But Chan said that her company is “philosophically different” as she believes that in this new age of digital marketplaces, trust is everything. And unlike traditional SaaS-like models, you don’t pay Trusted until you get a provider.
“We want to be with you throughout the entire process — with you through the booking and to the end to make sure your experience is correct,” said Iyer.
Trusted has raised money from a slew of investors, including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byer’s Edge Fund, Metamorphic Ventures, Techstars, Slow Ventures, Great Oaks Ventures, and a slew of angels.