Wondering how to sort out all the pick-ups and drops for your kids’ summer break? There is now a service that uses an app to combine childcare and rideshare, providing safe and reliable transportation, a way to easily coordinate and schedule cares and rides, and a complete GPS system that lets you know the status of your child’s ride so you always know your child’s location. The top priority for Zum is safety and security for the kids.
As childcare and kids’ schedules get more complex, working and stay-at-home parents both find it a challenge to manage their child’s activities before and after school and in the summer too – camps, music lessons, sports, tutors, and the list goes on. While it may be rewarding for a parent to spend time with their children as they drive their kids from activity to activity, a little help would certainly go a long way.
This is where Zum gets its inspiration. “Families are busy year round, but in the summer it can be even more hectic when kids aren’t in school and involved in a lot of activities,” said Ritu Narayan, CEO, Zum. “Summer shouldn’t add more stress to our plates. That’s where Zum comes in. Our goal is to simplify scheduling, give parents peace of mind and allow kids to pursue their interests.”
- Childcare scheduling – quickly arrange for childcare around rides so parents don’t have to stress about who can watch the kids when one activity ends and before the next one starts
- Carpools – extremely easy set up with a couple of swipes on the app, automatically organizing and arranging payment splits between families
- Multi-step rides – kids can begin or end rides at separate locations, with no need to set up or pay for individual rides for siblings or friends
The app is a central point for parents to manage schedules, track their children in real-time, and ensure safe drop-offs and hand-offs. During a media Q&A session, CEO Ritu Narayan talked about how Zum came to be and what its future holds.
How did the idea of a childcare and rideshare app come about?
“As a mother of two school-age kids and a demanding career, I had this challenge that I no longer needed a dedicated nanny, and finding someone part-time and reliable who would drive my kids to/from school and activities or to take care of them was a very challenging task. I wanted to create a solution that incorporated the trust and relationship you develop with a dedicated driver or nanny and yet set it up as on-demand so parents can schedule and pay for just the time and services they need.”
How did you get the name Zum?
“We are a deep design thinking company and every aspect of our solution has been designed with input from hundreds of parents, kids, schools and activity center administrators’ input. Our name ‘Zum’ also comes from such thought. Every child has played with toys saying ‘Zoom-Zoom-Zoom’, thus they relate to the word naturally. Also, it had to be a simple word that young children can easily recall and pronounce since we transport kids as young as 5, and at the same time, teenage found the name cool and didn’t feel embarrassed to be associated with the company. In our research, Zum met all of those requirements.”
What is the app’s vision?
“We envision the Zum app to be the ‘one stop’ reliable rides and care solution on every parent’s fingertip. As our customers often say, Zum becomes a virtual family member and we want it to serve the dynamic and evolving needs of today’s children and busy families.”
What is the revenue model?
“We have a commission-based revenue model where parents pay for the service they used and that revenue is shared between the service provider and the Zum platform. There is no other charge, like a monthly subscription fee. Charges are shown upfront before parents confirm booking on the Zum app and similarly service providers see their earnings on their app before they decide to accept an assignment. Zum’s share of earning in invested in processes and technology to meet our rigorous safety and service standards such as fingerprinted background checks, trustline certifications, DMV record checks, insurance, live customer support, etc. Service providers can join Zum platform for free provided they meet all the selection criteria and clear the Zum vetting process.”
Do you think you will be able to build a strong Zumer network considering the current competition?
“Yes, I strongly believe that we have distinctly differentiated ourselves from any competition and are building a strong and more mission-driven Zumer network. Our hiring and retention rate was extremely high. We regularly do NPS (Net Promoter Score) survey among Zumer and it is consistently similar to such revered brands as Apple and Southwest. We invest a lot in our Zumers – responsiveness of our team, transparency in communication and higher, predictable earnings are a few examples. Also on the Zum platform, since we have rides + care, service providers get more work compared to any of the competitors. Zumers are not just a driver or a care provider, they are brand ambassadors who believe in Zum’s mission and we ensure that we build a culture of trust, respect, and purpose for everyone.”
[Image via Shutterstock]