U.S. childcare is expensive, inadequate, understaffed, and fundamentally broken, as the pandemic made all too clear. But while parents, providers, and childcare workers await a long-promised (if increasingly tenuous) industry overhaul from Washington, a handful of private startups are trying to bring some higher-tech ease to the sector. Those startups include Kinside, a tech platform that employers can offer as a benefit to workers who need help finding childcare openings. Since the childcare industry is so fragmented, and dominated by small providers without time or money to run high-tech, searchable websites, Kinside aims to centralize local childcare openings and make it easier for parents to find convenient care. The startup also allows parents to search for places where they are eligible for employer-based tuition discounts—and says that it can access more than 1 million childcare slots on its platform. “It’s 2021, and we should find childcare the same way we find everything else: online,” cofounder and CEO Shadiah Sigala tells Fortune. The serial entrepreneur, who previously cofounded unicorn freelancer-software platform HoneyBook, developed Kinside through the Y Combinator accelerator and has now raised more than $6 million in venture capital, for an undisclosed valuation. More than 3,000 employers now offer its services, and Sigala expects that number to double by next year.
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Initialized Capital, Maven Ventures, Precursor Ventures, Y Combinator