Trusted Lets Parents Book Vetted Babysitters At The Last Minute

Trusted is launching a new service for parents in search of high-quality babysitters — particularly parents who need to find someone ASAP.

CEO Anand Iyer compared the startup’s approach to the recently launched senior care service Honor. When you’re looking for a babysitter, Trusted lets you browse the available providers and book them from within the mobile app — you can schedule a session for the next week, the next day or even the same day.

The company performs background checks on all of its babysitters and makes sure they’re CPR certified. In contrast to many of on-demand services, Trusted makes its child care providers actual employees, rather than contractors.

“We didn’t want there to be any ambiguity” about the provider’s status, Iyer said — plus, this allows Trusted to provide a higher level of training and support.

Added together, Iyer argued that all of Trusted’s safeguards mean that “every single provider from a capability standpoint is the same.” So instead of worrying about whether they’re competent and responsible, parents can focus on compatibility.

Trusted has built other tools to make parents comfortable — once the session’s started, they can view live video, message the babysitter and monitor the location of both their child and the care provider.

Iyer and his co-founder Vivian Chan predicted that parents will first try the service when they need childcare at the last-minute, say if their regular babysitter cancels or their child is too sick to go to school. Hopefully, the experience will be good enough that those parents will turn into regular customers.

Both Iyer and Chan worked as product managers at Microsoft — Chan went on to lead marketing for Amazon Echo/Alexa, while Iyer co-founded Yahoo-acquired Hitpost and served as chief product officer at Thredflip. (I’ve known him since I started writing about technology a million years ago, and consider him a friend.)

Iyer recently became a parent himself. Not only did that give him the initial idea, but it also provided an unusual way to screen Trusted’s first babysitters — they had to watch his young daughter, giving the team a better sense of how the provider will perform in real-world scenarios.

Trusted isn’t revealing how many providers are on-board for today’s launch, but Iyer did say the company has been more focused on testing out the recruiting and on-boarding process. Now that they’re confident about the process and the product, Iyer and Chan are ready to recruit more aggressively. (Apparently many of the childcare providers are registered nurses and nursing students.)

I also asked about their take on the recent failure of several startups with an on-demand workforce, like Homejoy and Zirtual.

“We definitely took a step back and thought about what is going to help us win at the end of the day,” Iyer said. The answer? “Focus on the customer experience. If you nail that, word-of-mouth will spread.”

Trusted has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from investors including KPCB Edge, Metamorphic Ventures, Slow Ventures, Techstars/Bullet Time Ventures, Great Oaks Ventures and the Haystack Fund.

The service is currently available in the San Francisco Bay Area and charges $25 per hour for a single child, with a two-hour booking minimum and $5 per hour extra for each additional child.