Vorig jaar nam Careibu deel aan Startupbootcamp, het acceleratorprogramma van drie maanden dat startups helpt zichzelf naar het volgende level te tillen. Inmiddels zijn we hard aan de slag gegaan om alle nieuwe plannen verder uit te werken: het team is flink uitgebreid, de Oppasplanner app wordt met de dag vaker gedownload en het nieuwe lidmaatschap is ingevoerd!
Tijd om Careibu nog eens in de spotlight te zetten, vond Startupbootcamp, maar ditmaal als alumnus van het programma. Deze week verscheen daarom een interview met Careibu oprichters Anne en Lotte, over de successen sinds de deelname aan Startupbootcamp én over de ambities voor de komende jaren. Lees het hele interview hieronder:
The Startupbootcamp Alumni Spotlight is a series of interviews profiling innovative and inspiring stories from our extended network. Today, the spotlight is focused on our 2016 Smart City & Living Program Alumnus from Amsterdam – Careibu.
Careibu is all about social care and helping each other. Through their community platform, students can earn money to pay for their studies and the clients get more time to spend on other things. Their students provide care as babysitters, home cleaners, and elderly assistants. Founded by the dynamic duo of two sisters Lotte and Anne in their student years, the platform is now gaining real momentum in the Netherlands.
Q: Tell us your founding story, how did you get started?
A: At the end of 2009, we – sisters Lotte and Anne – were both studying in Amsterdam and decided to start a side job as babysitters. We advertised ourselves as a babysitting duo on an online platform. The next day, we received over 50 emails from parents desperately looking for a babysitter.
‘What if…,’ we said to each other, ‘we created a platform where families and students could be matched to each other?’ And so, the first babysitting community of students worldwide was born.
At the time, nobody had ever heard of ‘a startup’ and we always thought we will have to search for ‘a real job’ after finishing university. We haven’t realized that these first years were actually the foundation of Careibu today.
Without a business background, without external money and without any real marketing, the community kept growing and the business developed from a manually matchmaking model to an online matching platform in 2012.
This change to a scalable model was the tipping point where we really decided the only ‘real job’ we wanted to do was making our dream a reality – from a small local babysitting network in Amsterdam to a worldwide community of students providing social care to all generations.
Q: What is the problem you’re trying to solve and how are you tackling this issue?
A: It’s hard for students to find a side job that is not only about earning money. On the other hand, families and individuals struggle with a constant lack of time. By matching them, students find a social side job to finance their studies and our clients find time to spend on other things. By doing this, we bring all generations in the society together.
Q: What was your experience with the Startupbootcamp program?
A: For us, Startupbootcamp was a crash course to gain more business skills to add on top of all the practical knowledge we built in the years before. We made our growth strategy a lot clearer during the program. Above all, we met a lot of great mentors who are still helping us today.
Q: What have you been working on since Startupbootcamp?
A: We closed our first investment round (€400K), we doubled our team from 5 to 10 people, and made our first international steps. We launched our app, implemented a new membership model, and we hired our own development team (before we outsourced the development). We’re now working on our Series A, hoping to close the deal in September.
Q: What is the most important lesson you have learned since founding your company?
A: Follow your intuition, if it doesn’t feel right, you shouldn’t do it, or at least you should do it another way. If we look back at all the ‘mistakes’ we made in the past, it was because we ignored our intuition telling us ‘No! Don’t!’.
Q: What’s next for Careibu?
Goals for this year…
√ Expanding our team (especially development)
√ Closing series A (€ 1 million)
√ Official start in Berlin
√ Many product improvements
√ Big marketing campaigns
In 5 years…
√ Careibu is the biggest community for help at home in Europe
√ Providing help at home is one of the most popular side jobs for students
√ Households never have to worry about home tasks anymore
√ Careibu makes society social again by connecting all generations