Startup company, HopSkipDrive, also known as the Uber-for-kids, is a special ride hailing service provider that helps kids to get picked up and dropped off from home, school, or any other place, with the prime element of safety in mind. The company has been in operation in California for a while now. With a new round of funding in place, the company is now in expansion mode.
A recently completed funding round helped add another $7.4 million to their portfolio. The new company previously raised $14.1 million through previous funding rounds.
HopSkipDrive has a 15-point checklist that ensures every driver is screened fully and thoroughly before being hired to drive. Further, one of the prerequisites for being a HopSkipDrive driver is that the person must have five years of experience in child care.
According to CEO and cofounder, Joanna McFarland, the company is not trying to replace the traditional school bus facility. However, its objective is to supplement that form of transportation by picking up and/or dropping off kids when bus services are not a viable option.
As a gesture toward this initiative, HopSkipDrive collaborated with Student Transportation, where the school bus provider encourages schools to use the HopSkipDrive app in collaboration with their school buses for pick-up and drop-offs. Student Transportation is a public company that provides school bus service to various districts in the U.S.
Speaking about the company’s strict hiring process for drivers, McFarland said, “We really think of ourselves as caregivers on wheels, and not just a ride-hailing app.”
With the partnership, the public company has invested $7.4 million in HopSkipDrive, along with previous investors like FirstMark Capital, Upfront Ventures, and others.
The business model of HopSkipDrive is unique because it is specifically set up for kids to travel by themselves. The model has every aspect covered, from insurance to the way the app communicates to its young passengers, parents, and drivers.
Companies like HopSkipDrive and Zum (its nearest competitor) are signs of what can be expected in the ride-hailing industry in times to come.