BabyQuip Aims To Revolutionize Travel With Young Children Otesanya David April 4, 2022

BabyQuip Aims To Revolutionize Travel With Young Children

BabyQuip Aims To Revolutionize Travel With Young Children


For the Founder and CEO of BabyQuip, making connections is nothing new. A member of Match’s launch team back in the 1990s, Fran Maier’s latest venture targets consumers who’ve moved on from dating to parenting and now have young children. She’s helping make travel more pleasurable by matching them with a network of independent contractors in the places they are visiting who rent safe and clean cribs, strollers, car seats, jumpers, monitors, highchairs and even toys and books. “Pack light and travel happy,” she promises.

There is a sizable market to target. Maier says 14 million families in the U.S. and Canada take trips annually. Now, instead of paying extra baggage fees and “traveling like you are moving,” customers BabyQuip simply go online, search for the place they are going, and connect with over 1,000 Quality Providers located in 650 markets. The orders are delivered to where you are staying, so you don’t waste valuable vacation time.

The concept has become popular both with vacation rental hosts and guests. Grandparents also appreciate the service, says Maier and traditional hotels represent the next frontier. Typically, hotels have a limited supply of cribs and not much more. That means upset guests if they are loaned out to other guests and unproductive storage space for the hotel. Plus, there is maintenance and cleaning.

BabyQuip only rents new items – so there are no hand-me-downs, and items are professionally cleaned between use. Maier says that her Quality Providers it’s a serious business that attracts both moms who want to help other moms and entrepreneurs from the gig economy. One QP in Santa Fe raked in $30,000 last year, Maier says.

Each QP sets their own service area, makes their own inventory decisions, and can set their availability. That means site users are assured that the provider they are connecting with have what they need and will have it available when they want it.

BabyQuip provides QPs training on customer service, cleaning, product safety, and liability insurance. Because it tracks what’s being rented, it can notify providers of product recalls. Most importantly, “We give them a storefront,” Maier tells Forbes. The sellers also have a private community where they share tips, advice, and motivation.

Still, it hasn’t been all smooth sailing since its 2016 launch. After appearing on Shark Tank in early March 2020, BabyQuip saw sales drop 60% from 2019 as Covid brought travel to a virtual halt.

However, the business has rebounded, and Maier believes the concept is more valid than ever. Last month set a record for transactions. She says the network of QPs is growing fast, with about 20% starting as customers. BabyQuip has a Net Promoter score of 94 from over 20,000 reviews. The company is currently finishing a $3.5 million funding round.

In addition to hotels, Maier believes travel agents who book family vacations are potential affiliates. The advisors would earn referral fees. Most of all, she sees a lot of fertile space with no national competitors and local providers mainly focused on store hours instead of offering a personalized connection with the customer.


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