29 Aug 2019

Our Investment in Koru Kids: improving family well-being

When Rachel Carrell — a native New Zealander living in London — had her first child and watched her friends start families, she realized how difficult childcareis in the U.K. It’s expensive, difficult to coordinate, and options such as nurseries don’t work for many families. “I also saw lots of female friends unable to go back to work, or making career choices they didn’t really want to make, just because they couldn’t find the right childcare. I felt deeply that this was unfair, and bad for society,” she says.

Childcare is an increasing headache for UK families balancing work and family. Arrangements can be difficult and expensive, as 91% of local authorities in London have significant gaps in the supply of childcare available to their communities and the cost of childcare to families in the UK has outpaced inflation by 2.5x in the last 15 years. For children, the quality of childcare is critical as the foundations of adult mental health are laid down in our earliest years.

And all of this is despite the fact that hundreds of thousands of students and older people in the UK could lend support and earn additional income if only there were a way to connect them to prospective families and support them to thrive.

That’s why Rachel decided to found Koru Kids, a platform for finding and managing childcare with the mission of profoundly improving the well-being of the whole family.

Atomico is proud to announce its partnership with Koru Kids. At Atomico, we believe that technology can play a key part in improving quality of life and uniting communities across generations, and why we believe strongly in Rachel and her team’s mission. As part of the round, Atomico Partner Niall Wass, who has over 15 years as an executive in early-stage tech-enabled consumer businesses, will join the board.

Koru Kids selects and trains the top students and older adults in London as nannies, accepting less than 6% of applicants. For students and older adults, the nanny experience gives them a rewarding, flexible part- or full-time job. The nannies are given training across first aid, educational philosophies, homework, and risk and safety around the home. They are trained with a growth mindset, so that they can help children flourish even more during their time together.

Koru Kids makes it easy for families to share nannies — which means having their children and those of another family looked after at the same time by the same nanny. Children get to socialise with others, parents pay less, and nannies earn more.

We are excited to join the Koru Kids team on their journey.