Traveling with small children comes with a lot of headaches, but one new company is looking to make it less stressful by utilizing the sharing economy. BabyQuip, the latest venture from Match.com co-founder Fran Maier, links traveling parents to local “quality providers” in different cities that will rent out equipment like cribs, car seats and baby toys so that parents don’t have to pack as much.
“People are really grateful for the service. They really are glad that we’re there, saving the vacation,” Maier tells Yahoo Personal Finance. “You’re only going to spend $10 a day for a car seat. A crib, $20 a day. It’s not just the savings that you get, but the convenience and the fact that it’s all set up for you.”
The system is simple enough to use: Parents enter their travel destination and review a mapped list of suppliers — BabyQuip calls them quality providers — who have items available to rent in the area. The providers are other parents who own the items they’re renting out, and profiles come complete with reviews and ratings. Renters pick out what they need, and the providers arrange delivery, set-up and pickup at the hotel or vacation rental.
“We encourage our providers to really carry a depth and breadth of equipment, so 40 or so items. Everything from toys to car seats, strollers,” Maier explains. “They love it. They love that they’re making $600 or more a month on average.”
BabyQuip, formerly named Babierge started two years ago, and is growing quickly, raising a seed round of $1.3 million earlier this year to aid in that expansion. There are BabyQuip providers in more than 200 markets across the U.S., and they’re adding more every week. “We expect to get to close to 500 by the end of the year,” Maier says. “We’re also forming partnerships with hotels and vacation rental companies.”
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This story was originally published on October 24, 2018.