Ada Ventures
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Ada Ventures

Ada’s investment in Bubble

An entirely unposed (!) picture of me and Ari, co-founder and CEO of Bubble at Huckletree West.
  1. It’s an overlooked market. Childcare is an underserved and overlooked market. Parents are increasingly in need of childcare. As the world becomes more globally dispersed, families are living away from their parents and friends who might previously have provided childcare. One million more mothers are now working than 10 years ago in the UK and this is increasing, with 70% of mothers now working flexible hours and fathers too. A nanny is unaffordable for most people and others are working freelance or shift work and therefore need flexible (rather than 9:5) childcare. Millennial parents in particular are entirely accustomed to using their mobiles to book their every-day services quickly, securely and on the go. Who you let look after your kids undoubtedly involves greater consideration (and Bubble’s tech-powered security processes are industry leading) — but their expectations of quality and convenience are the same. Yet despite this demand, and the potential impact of the right solution, there are few viable options available to parents.
  2. The product economically empowers an overlooked segment of the population who may not have access to 9:5 work. Bubble’s two-sided marketplace platform not only gives parents their freedom and spontaneity back, it also enables the sitters to flexibly earn money doing something they enjoy. Some of these people are unable to commit to 9:5 jobs because of their own caring responsibilities, academic commitments or schedules. Bubble’s platform enables them to generate income whilst working towards their goals.
  3. Bubble is a technology business in a low tech sector. The team have built a sophisticated and scalable product, both externally facing and for their internal ops. In the customer facing product Bubble is continually building tech features. For example, their social graph enables parents to see if they have any mutual friends with the sitters they are considering booking. Bubble’s matching engine finds the best matches for each job based on sitter preference, location, availability, response rate, skills, reviews and social features. The internal ops product allows just three people to successfully handle 10,000 childcare requests a month, which will scale to hundreds of thousands by the end of 2020 and millions beyond that.
  4. Bubble is solving a globally important problem, changing people’s lives for the better. The way that families find accessible, trusted and affordable childcare is broken. In the UK alone, the childcare market is worth £11bn and is non-discretionary. Up to 30% of household income in the UK is spent on childcare, yet there are few technology products and services that help people find it. The current status quo for finding and booking childcare is largely informal (asking neighbours or friends if they know anyone), or through a limited range of non-mobile optimised desktop sites. Often parents can’t get childcare at short notice, or during the day-time and there are few ways to ensure that childcare professionals are trained and capable before booking them. Bubble changes all of that. Through the Bubble platform you can find, assess and book childcare at short notice. Close to 50% of bookings made on the platform are for daytime sits, and almost 50% are requests for childcare with less than next 48 hours’ notice. Bubble is a solution that can positively impact the lives of millions of people on both sides of the marketplace.
  5. Customers love the service. Bubble has over 100,000 registered users and one million hours of childcare requested, with 4.6 stars on Trustpilot. Features that users particularly like are the ability to search by DBS, see mutual friends with the sitter, book regular help, the insurance that comes with every sit and time it exactly and speak to other parents who’ve previously used that sitter.

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Francesca (Check) Warner

Partner, Ada Ventures. Investing in breakthrough ideas for the hardest problems we face. Co-founder & CEO of Diversity VC. www.adaventures.com