Ridesharing isn’t just for transporting teenagers and adults anymore. Zūm, a ridesharing startup for kids, just raised a $40 million Series C round led by BMW i Ventures with participation from Spark Capital and Sequoia Capital. This brings the company’s total funding to $70 million.
Zūm is a mobile app that enables parents to schedule rides for their kids from fully vetted drivers. It also partners with school districts to support their transportation needs. To date, the company has partnered with 150 school districts across the country and transported more than 500,000 students.
“Zūm has proven itself as a force to be reckoned with in a market that has a lot of untapped opportunity,” BMW i Ventures managing partner Ulrich Quay said in a statement. “Its leadership is strong not only because of their drive to help working families, but because they themselves have families and understand the need for better child transportation, today. We’re proud to be supporting Zūm and look forward to seeing its momentum as it continues driving funds back into schools.”
The plan with the funding is to support the increase of partnerships with schools throughout the nation. Additionally, Zūm plans to use the funding to further develop its one-stop platform technology for schools. This platform features route optimization, vehicle and quality tracking and real-time vehicle dashboards for schools.
“I’m honored to gain the support of our incredible investors who believe in what Zūm does, and our mission to build the world’s largest and safest transportation service for students,” Zūm founder and CEO Ritu Narayan (pictured above) said in a press release. “It is beyond exciting to have investors who have supported transportation, tech and marketplace startups across the globe, and to know they see in Zūm what I’ve seen since the beginning—ineffective, inefficient school transportation is a massive issue and we need to build a better future for our children.”
Zūm, however, is not the only startup tackling transportation for kids. HopSkipDrive, a rideshare service that picks up your kids, similarly partners with school districts for school bus alternatives. In 2017, HopSkipDrive raised a $7.4 million round to bring its total funding to $21.5 million. There’s also Kango, a more Uber-like service for kids. However, you may recall Shuddle’s shutdown of its Uber-like service for kids in 2016. Shuddle had raised $12.2 million prior to shutting down. Perhaps partnering with schools and school districts is the way to go in this kid ride-hailing business.