For 10 months out of the year millions of parents reluctantly drive their children to school causing one third of the traffic in your daily commute. With so many parents driving in the same direction, every parent wishes they had a carpool, but don’t necessarily have the tools to make this a reality. Thankfully, GoKid, the mobile app connecting your children with trustworthy carpools is helping parents across the world save time, money and reduce their carbon footprint. With a recent Seed round under their belts and thousands of carpools already created, GoKid is the tool you need to improve your child’s commute and save you time.
AlleyWatch chatted with Stefanie Lemcke about the Startup and how the company has expanded internationally.
Tell us about the product or service.
In the US more than 50,000 schools are without busses. As a result, more than 32 million children are being driven to school daily, causing approximately a third of all morning traffic, and billions of hours of lost productivity time for parents. Even in New York City, 300,000 kids are being driven to school by car every single day!
GoKid has developed a mobile-first technology platform that makes carpool setup easy and convenient—allowing parents to share driving responsibilities with other families they know and trust. This saves parents time, makes it easier to get children where they need to go, and reduces the number of vehicles on the road and at school drop-off/pickup locations.
Our technology includes family accounts, automated invitations, schedule management, mapping, live reminders, and notifications.
GoKid has been live in the App Store since April 2016 and has recently been completely overhauled by award-winning designers with an updated user experience and many new features. Besides the iOS version we are now, for the first time, available on all mobile devices with our mobile-friendly web app.
We are also launching GoKid Connect for the back-to-school season, a technology we are licensing to schools, which helps families within a school locate other families who are interested in carpooling.
Do you worry about companies with more funding like HopSkipDrive entering your geographies?
GoKid is serving a huge market, and we are not bound to any geographic area – in fact, GoKid is already in use in more than 35 countries and over 400 cities. Another key differentiator is that we are not hiring paid drivers, but are on an invitation-based, voluntary system in which parents or caregivers are the drivers. There is no density required to start a carpool with GoKid – any family can start a carpool right from our website! As a Techstars alumni we get a lot of support from our network and various investors like InMotion, the VC arm of Jaguar Land Rover.
What market are you attacking and how big is it?
This is a huge market opportunity; the transportation and traffic issues caused by children’s transportation go beyond parents and affect city congestion, air quality, and safety.
Our initial customers are the 57,000 schools in the US without busses. We are also providing a direct-to-consumer service for the parents of the approximately 50 million school aged children in the US. Beyond the US we are seeing a lot of interest from Canada, Mexico and Australia.
What is the business model?
As a company we believe in rapid growth through partnerships and collaboration: GoKid is available B2C through the App Store and our website, where we will be launching premium features this fall. But we see our main opportunities from the B2B side where we’re offering the technology as a SaaS model to schools, leagues, event organizers, and digital partners. We are also working directly with corporates and their employee benefit programs, and are working on pilots to use our technology in cars.
What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within six months?
We are launching our GoKid Connect school solution for the back to school season, and are working with on several strategic partnerships, including our pilots to go into cars. We are launching a larger corporate partnership in the Tri-State area later this fall.