Winnie — a service that helps users find local childcare providers, including daycare and preschools for your children — announced that it has raised $9 million in funding. Interestingly, Winnie founders Sara Mauskopf and Anne K. Halsall were pregnant were both pregnant while raising funds.
Including this round of funding, Winnie has now raised over $15 million. In conjunction with this funding round, Rethink Impact founder and managing partner Jenny Abramson is joining the Winnie board of directors.
According to Crunchbase, this round of funding was led by Rethink Impact — which is a female-founded company focused on investing in women-founded businesses. Reach Capital, Impact America Fund, Unusual Ventures, Ludlow Ventures, Afore Capital, Day One Ventures, Kairos, and April Underwood (Slack’s former chief product officer) also joined this funding round.
Mauskopf is the CEO of the company and Halsall is the chief product officer. They came up with the idea for the company in 2016 while they were both working at Postmates. While at Postmates, parenting was a relatively new challenge for them. So they started Winnie with a focus on providing resources for parents. One of the biggest challenges that they found as parents were finding quality daycares and preschools.
“We realized that this generation of millennial parents was a very different generation from in the past,” said Mauskopf via Crunchbase. “They’re way more likely to work than previous generations. So, things like childcare are no longer optional since the vast majority of families in this country don’t have a stay-at-home parent now.”
The Winnie app users will gain access to detailed information related to childcare and early education like tuition information, licensing status, and parent reviews for each program.
Plus Winnie provides childcare providers with a new way to reach more parents. Winnie generates revenue through ads from providers.
Using integrations with local licensing authorities, Winnie is able to display whether a provider has any citations or if it is currently under investigation.
In the past year, Winnie expanded the number of cities it serves from 500 to 7,000. And now it reaches more than 4 million parents in the U.S. Plus it features over 150,000 daycares or preschools.
This round of funding will enable Winnie to create more tools for childcare providers by helping them market their businesses, process payments, process paperwork, and fill temporary openings.