Techstars Bets on Tot Squad
January 27, 2020
TOT SQUAD LAUNCHES MARKETPLACE FOR PARENTS; ACCELERATED BY AMAZON, WALMART & TECHSTARS PARTNERSHIPS
Tot Squad delivers all the services new parents need, from conception to kindergarten
January 27, 2020 – After Tot Squad was proclaimed most likely to be the “Next Unicorn” at investor Jason Calacanis’ Launch Scale conference last fall, it has since caught the eye of world-renowned startup accelerator Techstars, which announced today that the company is part of its 2020 Anywhere cohort.
Tot Squad is a marketplace that connects new parents with health, wellness and safety services, both in-person and via video chat. The beta for TotSquad.com, also announced today, offers a diverse suite of services including babyproofing, car seat installation, sleep training, babywearing, and doula support, among others.
As millennials move away from their extended families, first-time parents are increasingly turning to outsourced professionals for support. “Our mission is to conveniently connect new parents to all of the services they need, both on our new platform and through our retail partners” said Founder & CEO Jennifer Beall Saxton.
The company launches its marketplace with herculean partners by its side: Amazon and Walmart.com. In the last few months, Tot Squad quietly started testing services with the world’s two largest retailers, positioning itself as the go-to service marketplace for baby retailers. Amazon and Walmart customers can now add-on car seat installation with a single click during the purchase of a car seat. Where available, certified and background-checked pros are dispatched directly to people’s homes. Walmart.com is also offering Tot Squad’s first digital service with “Virtual Car Seat Checks” where parents can receive live video chat support whenever and wherever they need it.
Prior to 2020, Tot Squad grew to offer expert baby gear cleaning, repair, and safety services in 10 cities. Following the birth of the CEO’s first child in 2018, the company took a leap forward to offer all the services needed for the modern parent. “With our track record and expertise, I feel we’ve firmly established Tot Squad as a trusted leader in the specialty baby services industry,” said Saxton, “and when I realized how hard it was to evaluate and book all of these specialty providers, I knew we were well positioned to nurture this greater market need.”
Partnering with Techstars will surround the company with a global network of female founders and corporations dedicated to modernizing family services. As part of the Techstars Anywhere program this spring, Tot Squad plans to launch additional service categories and partnerships, expanded profile reviews of providers, Facebook integration so parents can see and share their favorite providers, and more yet to be announced. The baby gear cleaning & repair operation is being divested but will still be available for booking through TotSquad.com.
Unlike accelerators that require founders to relocate their company, the Techstars Anywhere program offers a mostly remote experience, designed to be more accommodating for founders with families, like Saxton, who joins the ranks of seven startups of the ten in the cohort who have a female founder.
About Tot Squad
Tot Squad is a marketplace that connects new parents with health, wellness and safety services, both in-person and via video chat. Their mission is to improve access to pre- and post-natal services for parents and children, from conception to kindergarten.
Tot Squad was originally conceived in 2010 after Founder & CEO Jennifer Beall Saxton won the MBA business plan competition at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University with a goal of improving work/life balance for millennial parents. The company operated as a franchised service provider offering baby gear cleaning & repair for several years. Upon spinning out that business, Tot Squad is now building a broader marketplace where new parents can find and book a variety of vetted service providers from categories including babyproofing, lactation and sleep consulting, doulas, and more. Tot Squad’s services can be bundled with baby product purchases with one-click on sites like Amazon and Walmart.com, or purchased directly on TotSquad.com
Saxton serves as a regular contributor on CBS The Doctors about children’s safety topics, and was credited by the New York Times for creating a new industry. The company has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, CNBC, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Fast Company, and more.
For more information on Tot Squad, please visit TotSquad.com
Techstars is the worldwide network that helps entrepreneurs succeed. Techstars founders connect with other entrepreneurs, experts, mentors, alumni, investors, community leaders, and corporations to grow their companies. Techstars operates three divisions: Techstars Startup Programs, Techstars Mentorship-Driven Accelerator Programs, and Techstars Corporate Innovation Partnerships. Techstars accelerator portfolio includes more than 1,900 companies with a market cap of $25.2 Billion. www.techstars.com