Traditionally, finding a reliable babysitter you can trust has come down to calling in favours with family and a lot of forward planning.
For Female Founder and Kiddo App CEO Rebecca Dredge, it was these limitations that led her on her journey of innovation.
As a working mother with no relatives living nearby, Rebecca struggled to find her ‘village’ let alone the time to plan ahead for some time to herself to recharge, or to simply enjoy a meal with her husband and friends.
After speaking with other parents with young children, she realised this was a problem that countless other families were experiencing.
This got Rebecca thinking …with apps for groceries, ride shares and just about everything else in life, surely there was a better way we could all be using technology to solve this everyday problem.
That’s when she decided to create an app that helped parents find the care they needed for their children – whether at home or when travelling.
Since launching in 2019, thousands of parents and babysitters have subscribed to the service to help them manage their babysitting needs, seeing it surge to the top 20 apps on the App Store.
Rebecca is one of the 25 businesses recently selected to participate in the Advance Queensland Spark Female Founders program. We caught up with her to discuss this exciting opportunity and her incredible innovation journey as a Queensland Female Founder.
Tell us a little bit about your business…
Kiddo App is an online platform that gives parents more time and freedom by connecting them with local, verified, affordable babysitters and nannies, instantly.
It allows parents to book a babysitter on the move with as little as two hours-notice and get some extra help, whether they need some help home-schooling, a day to work from home or to go on a date night.
Parents are offered peace of mind with all babysitters and nannies already ID verified and having completed their Working with Children Checks. Parents are matched to babysitters that meet their search, simplifying the process to view only suitable babysitters for their needs. Its in-app messaging, calendar syncing and payment system saves parents and babysitters time and stress that is associated with traditional babysitting.
What milestones have been reached?
In September 2019, we launched with 800 pre-registrations. To have so many parents and babysitters truly believing in and supporting our business, before we had even launched was an amazing achievement.
Now, Kiddo has over 1,500 babysitters and recently hit 10,000 users on our app. We survived and continued to grow through Covid-19 as a much-needed service for parents.
Kiddo has ranked in the top 20 apps on the App Store and have been recognised with the following awards:
- Winning the Aus-Mumpreneur Gold Award for Digital Innovation as well as being named as a finalist for the People’s Choice Award and Emerging Mumpreneur of the year Award.
- Winning the Greater Brisbane Women in Business Award for Innovation and Technology Award and becoming a finalist for the Business Excellence Award.
What achievements are you most proud of to date?
Personally, I am proud I started a business in an industry that I had no prior experience in and doing this digitally. To successfully create, operate and manage the Kiddo App, I had to re-invent myself after 12 years in the finance industry. I have had to become an ‘expert’ in the childcare/babysitting industry, upskill, make new contacts and really push past boundaries.
My greatest achievement is knowing we help so many families on a day-to-day basis and are an award-winning business recognised for our exceptional customer service.
What do you hope to achieve with your business in the next 12-24 months?
Kiddo will continue to grow and expand throughout Australia and in New Zealand. We have some exciting new services for parents and babysitters that will be available within the app.
Our platform allows us to expand to other serviced based businesses and this is something we will develop over this time.
Why did you apply for the Female Founders Spark Program?
Kiddo App has been accepted by the market and we are at the stage where we are ready to scale. We applied for the Spark program as we saw this as an amazing opportunity that could assist us with our ideas and help us grow and achieve our goals.
What do you hope to get out of the Female Founders Spark Program?
I have had some great mentoring from Advance Queensland by attending seminars and insightful zoom sessions. I am looking forward to gaining some expert advice, scaling and collaborating, as well as using the Scrunch platform and of course connecting with other Female Founders.
What’s your advice for other female entrepreneurs and businesses starting out on their innovation journey?
I think it is important to believe in yourself and your business. Everyone will always have a view on how something could be done, made or should look. Don’t ever lose sight of your ultimate vision and remember why you started your business. Remember at the end of the day, you’ve chosen to start your business with both your talent and your belief – so never forget that and give it all you have got!
It is also important to remember to ask for help. Rely on experts and engage them when you can. Don’t be afraid to connect with other people in business whether it’s through programs like Advance Queensland, other Female Founders, Women in Business groups or co-working spaces.
Why is it important to support Queensland’s Female Founder sector?
As research states, women receive between 2-3% of venture capital funding, we are the minority. As a minority it can at times be harder to push through some of the boundaries that require us to take the next steps.
So many women have incredible ideas and the drive and passion to bring these to life, they just might find the idea overwhelming or not know where to start. We need to encourage, nurture, and support more females to come forward to change the statistics, to create and build these amazing businesses.
I have two daughters so know it is very important to embed a culture that women can do anything.
Why would you recommend applying for Advance Queensland programs such as the Female Founders Program?
It’s a great way to connect with like-minded female founders and to build a support network. In the early stages of business everything can seem foreign, unknown and a lot of work to find answers. Connecting and building a network will help you get through this a lot easier. You will find many people have gone through a similar journey and may be able to point you in the right direction.