SANTA FE, N.M.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--BabyQuip, the #1 baby gear rental marketplace, today announced it has closed $3.4 million in new funding. BabyQuip delivers clean, insured, and quality equipment to families on-the-go in over 900 locations in the U.S., Canada and beyond. This latest seed round includes How Women Invest, Thorney Investment Group (an investor in prior rounds), and individual investors through the crowd-funding platform, SeedInvest, among others.
The funding will accelerate international expansion plans, including capturing key travel markets in Mexico and the Caribbean, new hospitality partnerships, and expanding its network of independent contractors, called Quality Providers. BabyQuip will also use the capital to fuel product and technology innovation, including a mobile app for customers, expansion into new services, and improvements to its robust proprietary technology platform.
Launched in 2016, BabyQuip is the only national marketplace for baby gear rentals and has far outpaced its competitors, mostly regional and mom ‘n pop companies. Founded by Fran Maier, a co-founder of Match and founder of TrustArc (formerly TRUSTe), BabyQuip gives families access to trusted baby gear through the popular sharing economy model. The platform is powered by its Quality Providers (mostly moms) who use their own inventory to build, launch, and grow their baby gear rental businesses, leveraging the proprietary platform, and drawing on BabyQuip’s branding and marketing expertise. BabyQuip now has over 1000 Quality Providers and continues to expand its Quality Provider community during a time when many businesses are struggling to add and keep their workforce.
By taking advantage of the now booming travel industry and the growing consumer comfort with the sharing economy, BabyQuip debuted on the 2022 a16z Marketplace 100 List, at #89 – the list is a ranking of the largest consumer-facing marketplace startups and private companies based on 2021 data. The growth continues with BabyQuip’s Q1, 2022 bookings up 235% vs. Q1 2021. The platform maintains a Net Promoter Score of 94 and has garnered over 30,000 5-star reviews.
“With this new funding, we are in a position to satisfy the growing demand for our services, as families are eager to resume traveling and make memories again. I’m also thrilled that our Quality Providers are finding a successful gig-economy opportunity through BabyQuip that works for them and their families,” said Fran Maier, CEO of BabyQuip.
As the only national brand, the company has formed strategic partnerships with hospitality companies including Destination by Hyatt, Vrbo, AvantStay, Blueground, Xplorie, Guesty, DACK, and more. In addition to the investments from How Women Invest and Thorney, over 40 Quality Providers from the BabyQuip community participated in this round of seed funding through SeedInvest.
Including this investment round, BabyQuip’s funding has raised $8.5 million in total, a testament to its tremendous potential in the areas of parenting, travel, financial empowerment, and sharing economy ethos. Investors in this and prior rounds of funding include Thorney, Startup Capital Ventures, Quake Ventures, Theresia Gouw, Jillian Manus, Kate Greer, Moai Capital, SUBARU-SBI, Rob Chesnut, and other high-profile angels.
“BabyQuip has the perfect combination of real traction, experienced leadership, rock solid partnerships, and a huge addressable market without a lot of credible competition to make our investment a no-brainer,” said Julie Castro Abrams, CEO of How Women Invest.
Alex Waislitz, Thorney’s Executive Chairman, commented, “We have invested in multiple rounds for BabyQuip as it meets many of our most important investment criteria: it provides a much needed and cost-effective service for families, provides a source of income and involvement for the independent providers who work with it, and is driven by a passionate and visionary founder and team.”
Rob Chesnut, BabyQuip investor and former general counsel of Airbnb, added, “BabyQuip is a powerful idea fueled by a passionate family community. It elegantly solves the problem of how to travel with small children, without carting around all the gear. The BabyQuip team is delivering and I’m thrilled to be part of it.”
For more information, visit www.BabyQuip.com.
Founded in May 2016, BabyQuip helps families “Pack Light & Travel Happy” to over 900 locations in the US, Canada and beyond. BabyQuip delivers thousands of clean, safe and insured baby gear items to families who don’t want to haul bulky gear while traveling. Its newest service, BabyQuip Cleaning, offers professional baby gear cleaning services for local families and businesses who don’t have the time or tools to do it themselves. As a managed marketplace, the BabyQuip platform enables its community of over 1000 Independent Quality Providers the opportunity to build a business renting and cleaning baby gear on the BabyQuip platform. Strategic BabyQuip partnerships include Destination by Hyatt, Vrbo, AvantStay, Blueground, Xplorie, Guesty and DACK, among others. BabyQuip appeared on the ABC hit show, Shark Tank in March, 2020. For more information, visit www.BabyQuip.com or connect @babyquip.