Inspiring women: Rachel Carrell
Offering cost-cutting childcare to London parents, Carrell's start-up Koru Kids has raised £600,000 and counts Gumtree's co-founder among its backers
Name: Rachel Carrell
Founded: Koru Kids in 2016 (launched January 2017)
Start-up elevator pitch: A childcare business which matches two local families with one nanny who looks after all of the children at the same time, cutting costs to the parents.
Funding raised: £600,000
Follow her: @RachCarrell
Who is Rachel Carrell?
Though Rachel Carrell grew up in a small farming community in New Zealand, she moved to England in 2001 after winning a Rhodes Scholarship to study at the University of Oxford. Making the most of this “life-changing” opportunity, Carrell graduated with masters and doctorate qualifications.
She went on to work at global management consulting firm McKinsey & Company for six years, before becoming CEO at DrThom.com, an online healthcare service. Within a three and a half year-period, Carrell grew the platform to serve 1.3 million people across three countries, and was named a World Economic Forum ‘Young Global Leader’ in 2014 in recognition of her success.
The idea for Koru Kids would come to Carrell after she returned to work following a period of maternity leave. She found herself struggling to find childcare for her daughter, and was frustrated by the expensive prices, unreliable quality, and inconvenient hours on offer.
Inspired by this, Carrell quit her job in 2016 to turn her vision of a convenient, inexpensive and high quality childcare service into a reality.
Since launching in January 2017, Koru Kids has been building a network of nannies across London and bringing its concept to life by matching two local families with one great nanny who looks after both families’ children at the same time, meaning fun for the children and reduced costs for their parents.
Carrell now has her sights set on “terrifyingly ambitious” goals, including recruiting and training hundreds of new nannies and developing the platform’s tech.
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How has she won over investors?
Touted as “Airbnb for nannies” by the Evening Standard, Carrell says Koru Kids enables parents to save a third on the cost of childcare while nannies are paid 25% more.
Not only that, but the start-up takes care of all the paperwork – such as contracts, payroll, and pensions – via its platform.
This innovative win-win arrangement has been noticed by investors, and in January the start-up raised £600,000 from venture capital firms and angel investors in an oversubscribed round.
The business now counts Global Founders Capital and 7percent, as well as Gumtree co-founder Michael Pennington and the co-founders of EF, among its backers.