locks down $50M for finding home helpers

Krystal Peak · August 7, 2012 · Short URL:

From pet sitters and senior assistance to child care, sees international expansion blossom


The Internet seems to have the solutions for just about anything. Need a birthed present on the fly, need to your bills before you go on vacation, need to find out who was the lead detective in The Big Easy  -- the Internet is your savior (it was Dennis Quaid). Now, one online service that specializes in finding an array of people for a range of care jobs, has secured a substantial round of funding from Matrix Partners, New Enterprise Associates and Trinity Ventures. This $50 million round of funding brings's total funding support to $111 million.

Founded in 2006, has approximately 7 million members in more than 15 countries, and helps families find childcare (including special needs), senior care, pet care, housekeeping, tutoring, and more.  

As someone who spent most of her college career relying on nanny and personal assistant services booked through online venues, I know just how many people turn to the internet to get help around the house for last-minute and long-term assistance, and its big, BIG business.

One new baby-sitting online service connected through Facebook, UrbanSitter has been expanding through the US thanks to the ease with which people can learn about on-demand nannies in their neighborhood.

Earlier this year, started its international expansion campaign, finding great strength in Canada, the UK and Berlin.

I“It’s both thrilling and gratifying to have investors like IVP embrace the vision of, appreciate the enormity of global care needs, and believe in the scalability of our services to meet the care challenges faced by families around the world,” said Sheila Lirio Marcelo, Founder and CEO of, in a statement. "It is also a validation of our multi-revenue business model and multi-service platform.”

As of this announcement, Sandy Miller, General Partner of IVP will also now serve on the Board of Directors. 

Similarly, a pet-care service secured $3.4 million in its Series A round of funding earlier this year.

The Seattle-based service for traveling pet owners, which was once only running in a select few test markets, is pocketing the funding led by Madrona Venture Group and rolling out its service nationwide as of Monday. estimates that the formal commercial dog-boarding market is worth up to $6.5 billion annually, and that there’s a much larger informal market of people who rely on friends and neighbors to refill bowls and walk their dogs -- he even places that larger market in the neighbors north of $35 billion. 

While finding a pet sitter is different from finding rental accommodations or flight options, it is all part of the profitable and ever-growing market of the travel industry -- and with innovative companies like AirBnb snagging $112 million in its last round, if plays its cards right, $3.4 million could just be the tip of the iceberg.



Support VatorNews by Donating

Read more from our "Trends and news" series

More episodes

Related Companies, Investors, and Entrepreneurs



Joined Vator on

An online service for parents and sitters to connect through people they know, UrbanSitter makes booking a trusted babysitter as easy as booking dinner reservations.  The site enables parents to search, book and review trusted sitters within minutes.

Headquartered in San Francisco, UrbanSitter was founded by a group of Internet veterans who wanted to use technology to power a faster, more personal babysitting service. For more information or to sign up, visit