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The company's member base has grown 9X in three years, but it's also growing its losses
Care.com shares are up nearly 50% to $25.47 Monday after making its public debut on Friday. The company originally priced shares at $17 a piece and saw its stock soar throughout the day, closing up 42.9% at $24.30 a share.
Care.com’s marketplace of caregivers and parents has grown substantially over the last several years. Today, the site has more than 9.5 million members, consisting of 5.1 million families and 4.4 million caregivers. That’s up from 1.9 million in September 2010.
The site, which spans the gamut of care needs—including child care, pet care, elder care, tutoring, and housekeeping—sees an average of 6.4 million unique visitors per month, 2.2 million of which are coming to the site from a mobile device.
(In the interest of full disclosure: I found my babysitter on Care.com. And I love her. I’m considering asking her to become my sister-wife.)
In two years, the company’s revenue quadrupled, going from $12.9 million in December 2010 to $48.4 million in December 2012. In the first nine months of 2013, Care.com generated $59 million in revenue, compared to $33 million in the first nine months of 2012.
That said, while the company has been growing its revenue, it’s also been growing its losses: in the first nine months of 2013, Care.com saw a net loss of $25 million. Yikes. That’s compared to a net loss of $18 million in the first nine months of 2012.
Why the steep losses? Well, for starters, Care.com poured $44 million into marketing between January and September 2013—which you’ve probably seen when you turn on your TV and see Sheila Marcelo telling you all about Care.com while some adorable puppies roll around with kids. The huge marketing campaign has likely driven the site’s tremendous membership growth in the last three years.
But are members simply turning up and paying one or two months’ fees until they find their match? While the site’s member base includes 5.1 million families, only 502,000 are currently paying members. Total revenue per paying family amounts to $109.
Nevertheless, people are using the site and signing up in droves. Will Care.com’s stock double by the end of the week? We’ll check in later this week to find out.
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