The demand for flexible, last-minute childcare, as well as gig economy workers, is on the rise. Neighbourhood network, Juggle Street, has hit more than 93,000 registered users across Australia and New Zealand with 1000 plus new users signing up every week.
Now people have the opportunity to own a share in the business as Juggle Street kicks off its equity crowdfunding campaign to fund the next phase of its expansion.
Juggle Street Founder and father of four, David James, says “investors as well as mums, dads and gig economy workers now have the opportunity to own a part of the business”.
The Juggle Street user base has grown 60 per cent year-on-year (Jan 2019 to Jan 2020), with 35,000 jobs posted on the platform since its launch. The largest segments of new users include working mums and dads, university-age carers and grandparents.
What is the story behind Juggle Street?
Mr James, a Waverley resident in Sydney of 15 years, says the need to bring communities together was the driving force behind the neighbourhood marketplace connecting busy parents with trusted local babysitters, nannies, Au Pairs and home tutors.
“I grew up in a tight-knit neighbourhood where all the kids played outside and all the parents knew each other, back then this was the norm,” says Mr James. “We are all still craving that sense of community which is now difficult due to increased work hours, longer commutes and not having your family just around the corner. That’s why Juggle Street is so important, it creates meaningful and lasting relationships between neighbours of all ages.”
Juggle Street is unique because parents set the price of every job and Juggle Street does not take a cut from the carers’ payments. Parents can pay for each job they post or take an annual subscription and post unlimited jobs. Carers decide if the job is right for them and then apply or decline in real time.
The platform works via a mobile-friendly website with text messages being sent when jobs are posted and candidates reply from their phones. The platform also works on a star rating and helper review system.
Why Juggle Street is looking to equity crowdfunding
Now Juggle Street is offering shares to anyone who believes in the concept and the growth of the business through equity crowdfunding platform Birchal from as little as $250. With access to new capital, Juggle Street will fastrack its goal of 1 million users in ANZ.
Juggle Street also has plans to expand into the burgeoning high school tutoring market, having recently launched primary school home tutoring. Beyond this, Juggle Street is exploring offering local services to senior citizens living in the neighbourhood.
One of Australia’s most active angel investors and co-founder of Investible, Trevor Folsom, was a Juggle Street user before he invested in the business.
“I saw Juggle Street was solving a massive problem in our communities while also being a great investment opportunity,” says Mr Folsom. “This equity crowdfunding is a rare opportunity to have a piece of a business at its ‘scale-up’ stage rather than a start up. This is an investment that will have a real social impact, and people will be able to see the positive effect of Juggle Street in their own community.”
“While equity crowdfunding is relatively new in Australia, the model has seen major success overseas for digital consumer platforms and companies, particularly in the UK,” says Birchal co-founder Alan Crabbe. The Australian online platform has worked with other brands such as Shebah since ASIC passed legislation in 2018 to allow private brands to crowdfund for equity.
“We felt a perfect synergy with Juggle Street as it’s also an online platform that works in a similar way to crowdfunding. That, and the fact David and the team have worked so hard to build trust with its community of users – which is an integral part of the services it facilitates,” says Mr Crabbe.
Flexible childcare enabled by the gig economy
Author and Journalist Georgie Dent, who’s been using Juggle Street since it launched says it’s perfect for busy families where unforeseen situations will always arise.
“I had to go to a last minute evening event for work just the other week and within minutes I got a reply and a babysitter sorted for my three children,” she says. “I now have a pool of trusted carers that we can call on. This is invaluable for those who don’t have family nearby.”
Juggle Street is also providing a regular source of income for gig-economy workers such as uni students, who make up 45 per cent of the platform’s helpers. Also catering to empty nesters looking to keep busy or supplement their retirement, the platform is ideal for anyone looking for work, on their own terms.
Angela Brownlee, 61, known as the real-life ‘Mary Poppins’ to the more than 60 families she’s supported in Sydney. Juggle Street provided her the perfect way to “plug in” to her local community after relocating from New Zealand, and it has also given her some financial freedom in retirement.
“The flexibility is amazing because I have total autonomy. I can pick and choose my hours and the types of jobs I accept, working as often or as little as I like,” says Mrs Brownlee. “But Juggle Street has gone far beyond my expectations and I’ve not only been welcomed into so many families, often being invited to birthdays and personal events, but the income has certainly helped with my retirement!”
For expressions of interest for equity in Juggle Street, please go to https://www.birchal.com/company/jugglestreet
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