- Yonseian Addresses Social Issues with Industry’s Largest Babysitter Platform Startup September 20, 2019
Jeeyea Chung, CEO of Mom-Pyeonhan-Saesang
Sixty percent of married women in their thirties in South Korea undergo career breaks, with more than half of them due to pregnancy, childbirth, or childrearing. Last June, South Korea ranked 28th out of the 36 OECD countries in terms of the employment rate of the working-age population, reaching 66.7%.
The lack of support for working mothers as well as the low unemployment rate are huge issues prevalent in South Korea, and a Yonseian is determined to solve these social problems by providing technology-based, innovative services.
Jeeyea Chung (graduating class of ’06, Information & Industrial Engineering) is CEO of Mom-Pyeonhan-Saesang (translated to “comforting world for moms/minds”), a startup that runs an online platform to take on social challenges in Korea. Its main online service is Mom-sitter, a 1:1 babysitter matching platform that connects busy parents who need babysitters with childcare providers who have varied skills and experience.
Under the leadership of Chung, Mom-sitter addresses the struggles of working mothers on the verge of leaving their jobs due to the burden of childrearing, while providing job opportunities to tackle the high unemployment rate. As a result of this virtuous cycle, Mom-sitter accumulated 260,000 registered users and 60,000 certified babysitters in just three years since Mom-Pyeonhan-Saesang’s launch in May 2016, recording the largest number of users and childcare workers in the industry. The startup has attracted more than 3 billion won of cumulative investment funds from companies like Mirae Asset and startup investment company BonAngels.
Mom-sitter’s babysitters have a wide range of workforce compared to other service companies. A unique feature of Mom-sitter is its “university student” babysitter option. “It was a new challenge for us to include university students in our pool of babysitters,” Chung said. “University students have advantages - they can tutor and have youthful energy for playtime. And from a university student babysitter’s point of view, it’s a good part-time job with flexible working hours.”
Apart from university students, Mom-sitter currently manages other various groups of babysitters, including “teacher” Mom-sitters who are certified childcare teachers, “mother” Mom-sitters who have childcare experience, and “general” Mom-sitters. Users can choose babysitters according to their different purposes and needs, such as reading books, doing indoor activities, playing games in English, walking to and from school, or preparing meals.
Mom-Pyeonhan-Saesang continues to make strides ahead, but it was not always easy to gain trust from users. However, Chung made a breakthrough by developing a comprehensive follow-up system.
“I was certain that babysitters would be eager to receive positive feedback if Mom-sitter users provided honest ratings and reviews, which would increase trust and improve service quality at the same time,” she said. “So, I decided that the review system must be transparent and open. I myself read the users’ reviews thoroughly whenever I need to assess service quality or brainstorm new ideas.”
In addition, Mom-sitter added credibility to its service by ensuring the specialties and legal backgrounds of the caregivers; potential babysitters are required to submit reference documents such as resident registrar, graduation certificates, and licenses. The platform also has added a verification system for health, personality, and motherhood certification.
Through a recently signed MOU agreement with insurance giant KB Insurance, Mom-sitter will soon provide an insurance product that guarantees compensation and legal expenses in the event of criminal charges, such as accidents involving a person or object, personal injury of babysitters, and child abuse.