Joanna McFarland is the CEO and co-founder of a company known as HopSkipDrive. Her business idea reminds us of Uber. Drivers are paid to take kids to certain places. The reasons can be explained in many ways. Maybe the parents are busy or have no car. No matter the reason, everyone can use this service. Right now you’re probably thinking: “Who would let their kids drive with a stranger?” This is the most used argument against Joanna McFarland’s business opportunity. As expected, she has an answer. Whether the answer is good or not is up to you to decide:
“We do far more than most families do when vetting a babysitter or a nanny, and so the guiding principle for everything we do is ‘Is this safe enough for my own kid?’ and ‘Would I put my own kid in this car?’”
The California, South Pasadena, based startup was launched in March 2015 by three mothers; Carolyn Yashari Becher, Joanna McFarland and Janelle McGlothlin. Together, these individuals have 8 kids, who range between ages of 4 and 13. Not only do their kids visit six different school, but are also involved in extracurricular activities.
What started as a joke, turned into a serious business opportunity. When McFarland and McGlothlin were at a child’s birthday party, they participated in a few discussions with other parents who told them about the struggle of constantly picking their kids from school and bringing them to different places. After that, one would be forced to pick them up. The problem is not that mothers didn’t like experiencing adventures with their kids, but the time management was hard to handle. A mother of three kids has no chance when it comes to giving all of the kids the same amount of attention. It’s not possible to be in so many places at the same time. This is what McFarland states about the struggle:
We were all scraping together solutions that weren’t really solutions; we were sneaking out of work early, arguing with our spouses over whose job was more important that day. We were cobbling together a myriad of carpools for each child, for each activity, and then praying nobody’s child got sick, causing the carpools to crumble. And sometimes, we were just not signing our kids up for things because we couldn’t figure out a way to get them there.
HopSkipDrive promises that they a have a specially-insured way to get kids where they are supposed to arrive. According the HopSkipDrive’s facts, some of their CareDrivers, 500 to be exact, use their own cars to drive the kids wherever they want. They cover over a combined 5,000 miles expanse spanning both Los Angeles and Orange County, in which they transport the kids, who are between 7 and 17 years old.