Startups

CluckCluck Helps Busy Parents Book, Pay And Message Their Children’s Caregivers

Comment

Heather Joyce and Erin Matzkin, hard-working technology attorneys who also happen to be moms with a total of five kids between them, spent many years helping companies build websites and apps, but were frustrated that there was not a decent application that addressed their own needs when it came to balancing their work and family lives. So they decided to build one themselves. Today, they’re introducing “CluckCluck,” a simple utility that lets you communicate with your nanny or sitters, assign task lists, share emergency contacts, and pay caregivers directly from your phone.

Longtime friends, the two founders had practiced law together at the same firm, and later at the Walt Disney Company, getting married, having kids, and having long discussions about balancing work and family life over the years. The idea for CluckCluck eventually emerged from their shared struggles on that latter point, with everything coming to a head one day when Joyce became frustrated with trying to book a sitter by sending out text after text. “Why isn’t there an app for this?” she thought.

Because of their tech law backgrounds, Joyce and Matzkin knew how to draw out the basic wireframes for what they had in mind. They then brought in Damian Toohey, an aerospace engineer, creator of personal finance app Budget Boss and father of three, to help them build CluckCluck.

Feed iPhone 5The app, whose name is meant to reference the “mother hen” concept, competes to some extent with the offerings from services like Care.com, UrbanSitter, or SitterCity, or perhaps a family organizer like Cozi. But unlike the sitter-finding services, CluckCluck’s premise is not that you need help finding a caregiver, but that you need a simple way to find out which of your usual sitters are available.

With CluckCluck, parents can input their list of favorite sitters, then send out an invitation to all their sitters at once when a job is available, as well as use the app to communicate with the sitter about what their kids are up to while in the sitter’s care.

Instead of having a note stuck on the fridge, parents can also share their contact info and other emergency numbers with the sitter using the app. Plus, they can create profiles for each child detailing the activities and other tasks they want to be updated about, like the child’s soccer practice or other after-school program, their homework assignments, nap or feeding times and more. Caregivers can respond to these assigned tasks with just a push of a button, or they can optionally include a text message or photo.

Explains Matzkin, this helps to eliminate some of the awkwardness around the communication process. “The task list frees the nanny up from having to type out a long text message…but it also makes the nanny confident that she’s not being intrusive, because you’ve asked to get this information,” she says.

This feature, however, puts CluckCluck more in competition with something like Care.com’s “Karoo” app, which is largely designed for caregiver and parent communications. However, Karoo is more focused on sharing photos and various milestones rather than actual tasks. (In fact, before building CluckCluck, the founders tried Karoo themselves, hoping it would meet their needs. It did not.)

cluckcluck-app

Finally, CluckCluck lets parents pay the sitter directly from the phone using PayPal, which is handy since hitting up the ATM tends to cut into those precious hours of freedom. This also provides a source of revenue, as each transaction includes a 99-cent convenience fee. At the end of the year, you can even export your transaction history to Excel to help with your taxes.

Though still an early beta and in need of some visual polish, CluckCluck is the kind of app that’s clearly been designed based on these women’s real-world experience in trying to balance their parenting duties and ambitious careers. And they took it from idea to launch without being iOS developers themselves. They even won the Audience’s Choice award at TechCrunch’s Atlanta Meetup and pitch-off this year.

The app is a $2.99 download here on the iTunes App Store. A “gifting” function is built in, so you can purchase it for your nanny or sitter as a way to get them signed up.

More TechCrunch

After Apple loosened its App Store guidelines to permit game emulators, the retro game emulator Delta — an app 10 years in the making — hit the top of the…

Adobe comes after indie game emulator Delta for copying its logo

Meta is once again taking on its competitors by developing a feature that borrows concepts from others — in this case, BeReal and Snapchat. The company is developing a feature…

Meta’s latest experiment borrows from BeReal’s and Snapchat’s core ideas

Welcome to Startups Weekly! We’ve been drowning in AI news this week, with Google’s I/O setting the pace. And Elon Musk rages against the machine.

Startups Weekly: It’s the dawning of the age of AI — plus,  Musk is raging against the machine

IndieBio’s Bay Area incubator is about to debut its 15th cohort of biotech startups. We took special note of a few, which were making some major, bordering on ludicrous, claims…

IndieBio’s SF incubator lineup is making some wild biotech promises

YouTube TV has announced that its multiview feature for watching four streams at once is now available on Android phones and tablets. The Android launch comes two months after YouTube…

YouTube TV’s ‘multiview’ feature is now available on Android phones and tablets

Featured Article

Two Santa Cruz students uncover security bug that could let millions do their laundry for free

CSC ServiceWorks provides laundry machines to thousands of residential homes and universities, but the company ignored requests to fix a security bug.

13 hours ago
Two Santa Cruz students uncover security bug that could let millions do their laundry for free

OpenAI’s Superalignment team, responsible for developing ways to govern and steer “superintelligent” AI systems, was promised 20% of the company’s compute resources, according to a person from that team. But…

OpenAI created a team to control ‘superintelligent’ AI — then let it wither, source says

TechCrunch Disrupt 2024 is just around the corner, and the buzz is palpable. But what if we told you there’s a chance for you to not just attend, but also…

Harness the TechCrunch Effect: Host a Side Event at Disrupt 2024

Decks are all about telling a compelling story and Goodcarbon does a good job on that front. But there’s important information missing too.

Pitch Deck Teardown: Goodcarbon’s $5.5M seed deck

Slack is making it difficult for its customers if they want the company to stop using its data for model training.

Slack under attack over sneaky AI training policy

A Texas-based company that provides health insurance and benefit plans disclosed a data breach affecting almost 2.5 million people, some of whom had their Social Security number stolen. WebTPA said…

Healthcare company WebTPA discloses breach affecting 2.5 million people

Featured Article

Microsoft dodges UK antitrust scrutiny over its Mistral AI stake

Microsoft won’t be facing antitrust scrutiny in the U.K. over its recent investment into French AI startup Mistral AI.

15 hours ago
Microsoft dodges UK antitrust scrutiny over its Mistral AI stake

Ember has partnered with HSBC in the U.K. so that the bank’s business customers can access Ember’s services from their online accounts.

Embedded finance is still trendy as accounting automation startup Ember partners with HSBC UK

Kudos uses AI to figure out consumer spending habits so it can then provide more personalized financial advice, like maximizing rewards and utilizing credit effectively.

Kudos lands $10M for an AI smart wallet that picks the best credit card for purchases

The EU’s warning comes after Microsoft failed to respond to a legally binding request for information that focused on its generative AI tools.

EU warns Microsoft it could be fined billions over missing GenAI risk info

The prospects for troubled banking-as-a-service startup Synapse have gone from bad to worse this week after a United States Trustee filed an emergency motion on Wednesday.  The trustee is asking…

A US Trustee wants troubled fintech Synapse to be liquidated via Chapter 7 bankruptcy, cites ‘gross mismanagement’

U.K.-based Seraphim Space is spinning up its 13th accelerator program, with nine participating companies working on a range of tech from propulsion to in-space manufacturing and space situational awareness. The…

Seraphim’s latest space accelerator welcomes nine companies

OpenAI has reached a deal with Reddit to use the social news site’s data for training AI models. In a blog post on OpenAI’s press relations site, the company said…

OpenAI inks deal to train AI on Reddit data

X users will now be able to discover posts from new Communities that are trending directly from an Explore tab within the section.

X pushes more users to Communities

For Mark Zuckerberg’s 40th birthday, his wife got him a photoshoot. Zuckerberg gives the camera a sly smile as he sits amid a carefully crafted re-creation of his childhood bedroom.…

Mark Zuckerberg’s makeover: Midlife crisis or carefully crafted rebrand?

Strava announced a slew of features, including AI to weed out leaderboard cheats, a new ‘family’ subscription plan, dark mode and more.

Strava taps AI to weed out leaderboard cheats, unveils ‘family’ plan, dark mode and more

We all fall down sometimes. Astronauts are no exception. You need to be in peak physical condition for space travel, but bulky space suits and lower gravity levels can be…

Astronauts fall over. Robotic limbs can help them back up.

Microsoft will launch its custom Cobalt 100 chips to customers as a public preview at its Build conference next week, TechCrunch has learned. In an analyst briefing ahead of Build,…

Microsoft’s custom Cobalt chips will come to Azure next week

What a wild week for transportation news! It was a smorgasbord of news that seemed to touch every sector and theme in transportation.

Tesla keeps cutting jobs and the feds probe Waymo

Sony Music Group has sent letters to more than 700 tech companies and music streaming services to warn them not to use its music to train AI without explicit permission.…

Sony Music warns tech companies over ‘unauthorized’ use of its content to train AI

Winston Chi, Butter’s founder and CEO, told TechCrunch that “most parties, including our investors and us, are making money” from the exit.

GrubMarket buys Butter to give its food distribution tech an AI boost

The investor lawsuit is related to Bolt securing a $30 million personal loan to Ryan Breslow, which was later defaulted on.

Bolt founder Ryan Breslow wants to settle an investor lawsuit by returning $37 million worth of shares

Meta, the parent company of Facebook, launched an enterprise version of the prominent social network in 2015. It always seemed like a stretch for a company built on a consumer…

With the end of Workplace, it’s fair to wonder if Meta was ever serious about the enterprise

X, formerly Twitter, turned TweetDeck into X Pro and pushed it behind a paywall. But there is a new column-based social media tool in town, and it’s from Instagram Threads.…

Meta Threads is testing pinned columns on the web, similar to the old TweetDeck

As part of 2024’s Accessibility Awareness Day, Google is showing off some updates to Android that should be useful to folks with mobility or vision impairments. Project Gameface allows gamers…

Google expands hands-free and eyes-free interfaces on Android