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HopSkipDrive Grabs $10.2M

2016-01-26
LOS ANGELES, CA, Today HopSkipDrive, the leading ride service for kids, announced a $10.2 million Series A round.
The round was led by FirstMark Capital with participation from new investors Greycroft Partners and Pritzker Group Venture Capital, who join existing investors including Upfront Ventures, BBG Ventures and 1776. The funds will support HopSkipDrive's expansion into new markets and propel product development. The company also announced the addition of Eyal Gutentag, former general manager of Uber in Los Angeles, as chief operations officer.

Founded by three working mothers who, as busy, safety-obsessed parents themselves, struggled to get their children to and from school and activities, HopSkipDrive has the highest safety standards in the business because it was designed with the founders' own children in mind.

'HopSkipDrive solves a major pain point all families feel, including our own,' said Joanna McFarland, co-founder and chief executive officer of HopSkipDrive. 'Demand has grown even faster than expected; we've built a strong product and technology team, and are now adding outstanding talent on the operations side. With this new capital, we are uniquely positioned to continue delivering our trusted service while we scale and bring our solution to millions of families in Southern California and beyond.'

In under a year, HopSkipDrive has expanded throughout Los Angeles, the largest transportation market in the country, and seen strong adoption, delivering tens of thousands of rides with hundreds of active CareDrivers on the platform. In 2016, the company will continue growth with expansion to other U.S. markets.

'HopSkipDrive's founders have built an authentic brand with a laser focus on safety,' said Rick Heitzmann, a founder and managing director of FirstMark Capital. 'With its world-class team, infusion of new capital and the right strategy in place, they will continue to grow and bring their game-changing transportation solution to even more families.'

Deepening the executive team, Eyal Gutentag joins HopSkipDrive as chief operations officer. Prior to this, Gutentag was general manager of Uber in Los Angeles, where he led operations and marketing. He brings more than 18 years of experience building high-performing companies and teams, coupled with unique experience in the rideshare industry.

'As a dad of two young kids, I understand the challenges facing families today and truly believe that HopSkipDrive is the answer,' said Eyal Gutentag, chief operations officer of HopSkipDrive. 'My previous experience was the perfect precursor to working with Joanna and the HopSkipDrive team to continue to strengthen and grow the company so we can help even more families.'

About HopSkipDrive

HopSkipDrive is the leading ride service for kids founded by three experienced professionals who are also working moms. They understand the stress of getting kids everywhere they need to go and created HopSkipDrive to address this pain point for all families. Parents book rides through the app or website and can track their child's ride in real time. All CareDrivers have at least five years of childcare experience and must pass a selective 15-point certification process, which includes extensive background checks, vehicle inspection, fingerprinting, participation in ongoing DMV checks and in-person meetings. The HopSkipDrive platform also includes built-in stringent safety features to monitor every ride in real time. To learn more, visit www.hopskipdrive.com.

About FirstMark Capital

FirstMark Capital is an early stage venture capital firm based in New York City. Our mission is to partner with exceptional entrepreneurs who are changing the world by solving meaningful problems. We have built a deeply engaged community among the extraordinary teams in our network to spread ideas and opportunities. We are privileged to work alongside the founders of remarkable businesses like Pinterest, Shopify, Riot Games, InVision, Tapad, NewsCred and dozens more. Visit us in New York City or online at www.firstmarkcap.com and @FirstMarkCap.
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