SAN FRANCISCO and NEW YORK — Babierge, which operates a baby gear rental service and marketplace, has closed a $1.3 million seed round from Startup Capital Ventures, Quake Capital, Rostrum Capital, The GWC Innovator Fund, and Stanford-StartX Fund as participating investors. The company will use the funding to develop the platform and expand North American market penetration. Babierge has also acquired baby gear rental directory, Rent Baby Equipment .
Founded in May 2016, Babierge (a combination of baby + concierge) serves over 8,000 families in more than 170 markets in the US and Canada. Babierge provides exceptionally clean, quality baby equipment to traveling families. The Marketplace has developed a sophisticated activation playbook to meet growing demand for baby gear rental by opening new markets weekly—including Hershey, PA and the New Jersey shore most recently. “Babierge has uncovered a large, underserved market and taken advantage of key trends as both millennial parents and grandparents embrace better family travel through concierge-level gig economy services,” said Fran Maier, Babierge Founder and CEO. Maier, a serial entrepreneur, Co-Founder of Match and Founder of TRUSTe (now TrustArc), brought former senior-level colleagues from both companies to Babierge.
The Babierge platform enables gig-economy entrepreneurs called Trusted Partners to launch their own baby gear rental business in as little as two weeks. In addition to launching their websites and driving leads to Trusted Partners, Babierge provides ongoing training in sales, marketing and baby gear safety and cleanliness, as well as guidance for providing exceptional hospitality and customer service. Trusted Partners quickly emerge as successful business operators, earning on average over $600 in extra monthly income renting cribs, car seats, strollers, high chairs, toys and other gear to traveling families.
With the acquisition of the Rent Baby Equipment directory, Babierge, which is already operating the Baby Equipment Rental directory, now owns the two leading baby gear rental directories. The company will use these directories to grow the overall category, continue to attract and onboard local mom & pop baby gear rental providers to the Babierge platform, and offer a provider resource guide in the baby gear and family travel categories.