WeeCare Raises $17 Million As Childcare Startups Boom Post-Pandemic

Keerthi Vedantam

Keerthi Vedantam is a bioscience reporter at dot.LA. She cut her teeth covering everything from cloud computing to 5G in San Francisco and Seattle. Before she covered tech, Keerthi reported on tribal lands and congressional policy in Washington, D.C. Connect with her on Twitter, Clubhouse (@keerthivedantam) or Signal at 408-470-0776.

WeeCare Raises $17 Million As Childcare Startups Boom Post-Pandemic
Photo courtesy of WeeCare

Sign up for dot.LA’s daily newsletter for the latest news on Southern California’s tech, startup and venture capital scene.

In 2020, as the pandemic shuttered daycare centers and social distancing requirements made it near-impossible for babysitters to work, Marina del Rey-based startup WeeCare partnered with the city of Los Angeles to provide childcare for essential workers.

Now, the five-year-old company has looked to build on that work by raising $17 million in new funding, according to an SEC filing on Friday. WeeCare landed the money from a total of 14 unidentified investors, per the filing. The new funding follows WeeCare’s $4 million seed round in 2018—which was led by Silicon Valley investor Chamath Palihapitiya’s Social Capital venture firm—and takes the startup’s total amount raised to more than $21 million, according to PitchBook data.


Representatives for WeeCare did not respond to requests for comment.

Co-founded in 2017 by CEO Jessica Chang, CTO Jesse Forrest and CMO Matt Reilly, WeeCare operates akin to an Airbnb for childcare. The company’s platform connects parents and caregivers to thousands of childcare providers in more than 30 states across the country, and helps them find daycare and babysitting options based on criteria such as their schedule, finances, their child’s age and any special needs or language requirements.

WeeCare CEO Jessica Chang WeeCare CEO Jessica Chang

WeeCare advertises its partner daycares as having smaller student-to-teacher ratios, while parents can receive photo and video updates on their children via WeeCare’s app. The startup’s technology is part of the reason it was able to weather the pandemic and keep 97% of its daycares open in 2020, it says: Fever Free, its in-house, AI-based app, allowed workers, parents and their children to submit daily virtual temperature and COVID-19 symptom checks

WeeCare also helps people start daycares by guiding them through the process of getting their homes licensed for daycare services, managing billing on their behalf, helping them create a curriculum and allowing communication to parents through its app.

The coronavirus pandemic was initially a curse for childcare startups, which had to deal with the disruption of social distancing regulations. But the hybrid work model that has emerged post-pandemic has opened a need for flexible and accessible childcare solutions; funding for childcare and pediatrics startups spiked threefold, from $394 million to $1.2 billion, between 2020 and 2021, according to PitchBook data.

Playa Vista-based Brella is another locally-based childcare startup that has benefitted—raising $5 million in January to provide flexible options for parents juggling unpredictable work schedules.

Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.

Cadence

Riot Games Doubles Down on Mobile With ‘Aim Lab’ Investment

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He previously covered technology and entertainment for TheWrap and reported on the SoCal startup scene for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Samson is also a proud member of the Transgender Journalists Association. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter at @Samsonamore. Pronouns: he/him

Riot Games Doubles Down on Mobile With ‘Aim Lab’ Investment
Image from Aim Lab

Riot Games has invested in virtual shooting range developer Statespace, accelerating the Los Angeles video game publisher’s efforts to dominate the mobile gaming space.

Read more Show less
https://twitter.com/samsonamore
samsonamore@dot.la

Meet Surf Air Mobility, the Startup Trying To Electrify Air Travel

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He previously covered technology and entertainment for TheWrap and reported on the SoCal startup scene for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Samson is also a proud member of the Transgender Journalists Association. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter at @Samsonamore. Pronouns: he/him

Meet Surf Air Mobility, the Startup Trying To Electrify Air Travel
Courtesy of Surf Air Mobility

The airline industry is a notoriously terrible polluter, with large carriers struggling to find ways to limit the more than 915 million tons of carbon emissions produced by their industry each year.

Read more Show less
https://twitter.com/samsonamore
samsonamore@dot.la

Ranavat’s Founder on How Pregnancy and Ayurveda Inspired Her to Start Her Skincare Company

Yasmin Nouri

Yasmin is the host of the "Behind Her Empire" podcast, focused on highlighting self-made women leaders and entrepreneurs and how they tackle their career, money, family and life.

Each episode covers their unique hero's journey and what it really takes to build an empire with key lessons learned along the way. The goal of the series is to empower you to see what's possible & inspire you to create financial freedom in your own life.

Michelle Ranavat
Photo credit: Grey and Elle

On this episode of Behind Her Empire, Michelle Ranavat talks about how pregnancy and traditional ayurvedic remedies inspired her to start her skincare company, and how she grew it without relying on outside funding.

Read more Show less
RELATEDEDITOR'S PICKS
LA TECH JOBS
interchangeLA
Trending