The Paris-based European childcare platform Yoopies has acquired local competitor (and neighbour) Yokoro to expand the range of homecare services offered via its marketplace. As it stands, Yoopies matches parents with sitters in a bid to take a slice of the childcare market. The acquisition of Yokoro — terms undisclosed — will enable it to buy its way into parallel homecare markets such as housekeeping or petcare.
Noteworthy is that Yokoro’s founders will not be joining Yoopies, so this feels like a customer grab more than anything, though of course Yokoro brings experience and expertise in those non-childcare additional verticals. We’re also told that Yokoro user accounts will be “gradually” transferred to Yoopies. To that end, the combined entity claims more than 370,000 caregivers.
Launched in January 2012, Yoopies currently operates across five countries in Europe, including France — where it claims to be the leader — along with Spain, Belgium, Italy and Switzerland.
The online platform matches parents with childcare, with an emphasis on “social recommendations”. Users can search on 50 or so criteria to find a suitable sitter, including reading reviews of “trusted” sitters and seeing recommendations from Facebook friends and their friends’ friends. Crucially, perhaps, Yoopies also does its own screening of sorts to “certify” sitter profiles.