Careers at Care.com
Care.com’s mission is to improve the lives of families and caregivers by helping them connect in a reliable and easy way.
Sheila Lirio Marcelo was an entrepreneur whose past businesses included a college savings site, Upromise. At a certain point she was having difficulty finding people to help care for her first child. Then, sometime after she had her second child, her father had a heart attack, and she was forced to take care of him as well. Her efforts to find someone to assist with him were also challenging.
Marcelo decided that she wanted to start a business to help families and businesses more effectively address their care needs. So in 2007 she partnered with Zenobia Moochhala and Dave Krupinski to launch Care.com. The site was a platform that enabled customers to connect with providers of various care services, including babysitting, tutoring, pet care, and senior care.
In its first year the company garnered $5.5 million in funding. Over the course of the next few years it expanded its services to offerings such as housekeeping and care for special needs individuals and military families. It also began enabling employers to offer use of its platform as a benefit to employees and allowing third-party care businesses to recruit and advertise on the platform.
Care.com became immensely popular, which led to significant growth. In 2012 it expanded its marketplace into the United Kingdom and Canada and released Karoo, a mobile social network connecting caregivers and families. The same year it landed an investment of $50 million in a Series E round of funding led by Institutional Venture Partners. In 2014 it completed an initial public offering.
Benefits at Care.com
Business model of Care.com
Care.com has a multi-sided business model, with two interdependent customer segments that are both needed in order to operate:
- Careseekers - Individuals or businesses seeking care services for people, pets, or homes
- Caregivers – Individuals offering care services to careseekers
Care.com offers four primary value propositions: accessibility, convenience, risk reduction, and brand/status.
The company creates accessibility by providing a wide variety of options. It has acquired several organizations since its founding, including Kinsights, Citrus Lane, Parents in a Pinch, Breedlove & Associates, and Besser Betreut. This strategy has enabled it to greatly expand its capabilities and diversify its portfolio, which now includes the following:
- Child Care – Includes in-home care, out-of-home care, and focused care
- Adult/Senior Care – Includes companion care, personal care, and dementia/Alzheimer’s care
- Pet Care – Includes dog walkers, pet sitters, boarding, grooming, and training
- Home Care – Includes housekeepers, house sitters, errand runners, and event help
Care.com also offers the following additional services to businesses:
- Workplace Solutions – Provides a selection of care services for employers to provide to their employees, including backup care services and senior care planning services
- Recruiting Solutions – Provides a platform for care-related businesses such as senior living facilities and day care centers to advertise job opportunities and recruit caregivers
- Business Marketing Services – Provides a platform for care-related businesses to find new customers and promote their brands
The company offers convenience by making life simpler for customers. Careseekers who publish a job are guaranteed to be contacted by a caregiver within three days. They can also make and track payments to caregivers through a Payments Center. Caregivers have constant access to opportunities, as a new job is posted every minute and a new match is made every two minutes. They can also receive their payments through direct deposit.
The company reduces risk by maintaining high safety standards. It conducts three tiers of third-party background checks for all caregivers promoting their services on its platform. It also features a “Safety Center” on its website, a section that assists families with the search and hiring process.
The company has established a strong brand due to its success. It bills itself as the world’s largest online marketplace for finding and managing family care. It has 22.8 million members across 19 countries, including 9.9 million caregivers and 12.9 million families. Lastly, it has won many honors, including the following:
- Ranking on the 2015 Deloitte Technology Fast 500
- A Seal of Distinction from the Alliance for Work-Life Progress
- A Webby Award for its Karoo application at the 17th Annual Webby Awards
- Recognition as one of the Top Places to Work by The Boston Globe
- Recognition as one of the Best Places to Work by The Boston Business Journal
Care.com’s main channel is its website. It also uses a direct sales team to promote its extra services (workplace solutions, recruiting solutions, business marketing services).
The company promotes its offerings through its social media pages, online/TV/radio advertising, direct marketing, affiliate marketing, and participation in industry events such as conferences.
Care.com’s customer relationship is primarily of a self-service, automated nature. Customers utilize the service through the main platform while having limited interaction with employees.
The company’s website provides a wide variety of resources for customers, including articles, guides, and answers to frequently asked questions. It also features a “Widgets” section with the following:
- Adjustable Time Frame Babysitter Pay Calculator Widget - Calculates hourly, daily, monthly, and annual babysitter costs
- Babysitter Pay Calculator Widget – Calculates local average babysitter pay rates
- Local Care Index Widget – Identifies how U.S. towns rank when it comes to finding quality, affordable family care
There is also a community element in the form of a customer forum called “Care Community”.
Care.com’s business model entails maintaining a common platform between two parties: careseekers and caregivers.
Care.com’s key partners are the suppliers that provide it with services it needs to run its operations. For example, it partners with Knowledge Universe, a firm that runs child care centers, to provide its corporate clients with access to backup care facilities.
It also maintains an affiliate program through which third-party organizations promote its offerings on their platforms (websites, mobile apps, etc.) in exchange for a commission.
Care.com’s main resource is its proprietary software platform, which serves over 22.8 million members.
It depends on human resources in the form of engineers that maintain and update its platform, sales employees that promote its services, and customer service personnel that provide support.
Lastly, as a startup it has relied heavily on funding from outside parties, raising $156.9 million from investors as of June 2016.
Care.com has a cost-driven structure, aiming to minimize expenses through significant automation and low-price value propositions. Its biggest cost driver is sales/marketing expenses, a fixed cost.
Other major drivers are research/development and administration, both fixed expenses, and cost of revenues, a variable expense.
Care.com has two revenue streams:
- Subscription Revenues – Revenues it generates from fees charged to customers for subscribing to its platform; fees range from $37 for a monthly subscription to $147 for an annual subscription
- Contract Revenues – Revenues it generates from annual contracts with corporate employers for its business services (recruiting, advertising, etc.)
info: Shelia earned a degree in Economics at Mount Holyoke College and JD and MBA degrees at Harvard University. She previously served as VP of Product Management and Marketing at Upromise and as Vice President and General Manager at TheLadders.com.
info: Zenobia earned a B.A. at St. Xavier's College, Mumbai and an M.A. at Brandeis University. She previously served as a Senior Marketing Manager at Upromise and as a Senior Product Manager at WorldStreet.
info: Dave earned B.A. and M.S. degrees at Boston College and an MBA at INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France. He previously served as Director of Product Management at Upromise and held executive positions at Direct Hit and Stylus Innovation.
info: Michael earned a Bachelor’s degree at Harvard University and an MBA at Harvard Business School. He previously served as Chief Strategy Officer and Head of Finance for the North America business unit at Weight Watchers International.
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