On Tuesday, 26 January 2016, HopSkipDrive announced that they had closed a $10.2 million Series A round.1 This round comes just months after the company raised $3.9 million seed round to expand beyond the L.A. area. 2 In a nutshell, HopSkipDirve is kind of the Uber for kids:
HopSkipDrive is a ride service to get kids where they need to go when their parents can’t. It was created by three moms who understand the stress of driving kids to all of their activities, and the safety concerns parents have putting their children in someone else’s car. It’s a simple, convenient and reliable solution borne out of necessity and fueled by care for the kids we carry.3
Rather than being a taxi on-demand service, however, HopSkipDrive is more akin to a carpool on-demand service. as the company deals with young children, there are a whole different, more stringent set of rules and regulations that the company must follow. Additionally, the company has made an effort to go above and beyond the legal restrictions, subjecting potential drivers to a rigorous certification process.
The new funding round – led by FirstMark Capital with participation from new investors Greycroft Partners and Pritzker Group Venture Capital, who join existing investors including Upfront Ventures, BBG Ventures and 1776 – will be used to fuel HopSkipDrive’s push to expand into new markets.4 In addition to the funding round, the company also announced a major hire. HopSkipDrive has hired Eyal Gutentag – the former general manager of Uber in L.A. – in the role of Chief Operations Officer.5