Parents urgently need help when it comes to looking after children or teaching them in our new work environment. Kumbaya, a gig marketplace that connects teenagers with parents who need childcare, wants to help.
The Kumbaya app launched a few weeks ago on Google Play and in the App Store is intended to support parents and young people during COVID. 19 Pandemic by making it easy for parents to find performances for their teenagers – and parents of younger children to get help.
Sure, hiring a babysitter sounds crazy when you can't physically visit other homes. In fact, Kumbaya was originally developed for physical appearances such as walking pets or personal babysitting. Work on this iteration had been going on for a year. Given recent events, app developers Chen Levanon and clinical psychiatrist Dr. Adi Zief-Balteriski, redesigned them for virtual helpers.
Levanon said in an interview with VentureBeat that a virtual babysitter will be hired who will use something like Facetime Keeping a child busy while the parents work in another room is actually a big help. Sure, kids can still go and interrupt their parents, but they'll likely find the babysitter to talk to in an otherwise boring household, Levanon said.
She said tutoring and arts and crafts projects could work well virtually. Of course, the pet walking part doesn't work, and that has to come back if the physical limitations are lifted at some point, Levanon said.
Pan to COVID-19
Levanon may be a household name for VentureBeat readers since she previously co-founded SimilarTech and The founder of the Israeli mobile advertising company, ClicksMob, which merged with AppGrade in 2016. SimilarTech, where she served as chief operating officer, is still active and profitable. Levanon, a former college hurdler, is a committed entrepreneur.
"After giving birth to my child a year ago, I felt I wanted to do something that is important to parents," said Levanon. “I love companies, but I also wanted to have an impact on working parents and teenage parents. I have the feeling that if I had free time it would be my personal vision to teach middle and high school students about entrepreneurship. That is my vision in life. When I was growing up, I didn't even know I had the opportunity to become an entrepreneur. “
Levanon and co-founder Zief-Balteriski started the app earlier than they planned to support people during the outbreak. The name of the app refers to the song Kumbaya and means "come here".
“We decided that parents have to help other parents and young people have to help other teenagers. It's about community and helping everyone get out, ”said Levanon.
Before Levanon launched Kumbaya, he spoke to investors about the right way to get a startup off the ground.
"I learned from my mistakes," she said.
The company has raised $ 500,000 in funding and is in the process of raising more. It was also included in the Avanta Ventures Studio Accelerator program. Kumbaya currently has four full-time employees and five contractors.
Currently free of charge
The company had originally planned to charge parents, the rented youth a 10% service fee. However, no fees will be charged for the next few months.
Kumbaya limits the age of participating adolescents to 13 to 18 years in accordance with the Child Protection Online Privacy Act (COPPA). Legislation is also the reason why parents have to control the app in the United States. Age limits vary by country according to local laws, and the company will add new countries as soon as possible.
A single work session cannot last longer than six hours. Participants must adhere to strict data protection regulations. Young people are not allowed to apply themselves and leave it up to the parents to arrange concerts.
The app checks parents' contacts and can invite people they already know to let them know the availability of performances. Parents also share posts on LinkedIn so a teenager in New York can teach math to a child in California, for example.
The app texted a teenager when confirmed appearances and used the Daily.co video platform to handle the call. This turned out to be better than Google Hangouts, Zoom, and Skype for several reasons, including the cost.
An organic start