Juggle Street is a great example of how of a startup managed to successfully adapt through COVID and emerge in a strong position on the other side.
More than 50,000 parents have registered with the on-demand job platform for multiple family jobs, including babysitting, before and after school, nannying, au pair and tutoring. Juggle Street, which began in Australia in 2014 and New Zealand in 2019, is now home to more than 50,000 helpers; from teenagers to grandparents; with more than 35,000 jobs posted.
Juggle Street founder David James says when the pandemic hit, they quickly got to work developing and launching online tutoring, online payments, and a new au pair UX
“A startup’s future lies in its ability to adapt to the unexpected and, never has this idea been clearer than through the pandemic. We slashed our marketing budgets, identified new growth opportunities, and focussed on generating revenue organically,” David says.
“Like millions of businesses around the world, our revenue collapsed in March 2020. After hitting rock-bottom in April, we started to grow revenue again, and this was achieved on a fraction of the 2019 marketing budget. It was a rollercoaster of a year, but in January 2021 revenue had returned to almost the same level as January 2020.”
David says January 2020 was a record revenue month for Juggle Street, and in February they launched an equity crowdfunding campaign on the Birchal platform.
“Following a successful EOI period we opened the Public Offer on the 12th of March. It was withdrawn the following day the pandemic lockdown was announced. We’ve now re-launched equity crowdfunding campaign, which is expected to close on the 12th of March 2021,” David says.
“Funds raised will be used to expand the tech team and launch Android & iOS apps, ramp-up Primary School tutoring, enter online tutoring and scale up our traditional childcare and au pair verticals. Juggle Street will also build complementary verticals, including kid’s activities and entertainment.”
Juggle Street is now on a mission to connect one million people in Australia and New Zealand. David says they’re encouraging people of all age groups to join Juggle Street as helpers.
“Empty nesters” and older carers are always in big demand on Juggle Street, especially with mothers re-entering the workforce after their first child. We recently received this lovely email from Annabel, one of Juggle Street’s trusted retiree helpers,” David says.
“We recently received a lovely email from Annabel, one of Juggle Street’s trusted retiree helpers. She wrote, ‘I’ve taken every opportunity to tell women I meet who are unemployed, running a business from home or made redundant, needing a purpose in life, to lift their spirits, fitness and pocket money and contribute to their local community via Juggle Street.’”
According to David, Juggle Street has an equitable, transparent pricing structure for both parents and helpers. Parents are charged a set fee to post jobs and helpers pay a small annual membership to apply for jobs.
“Juggle Street does not take a percentage of the job value. Other job platforms typically take 25-40 percent of the job value and some tutoring platforms take as much as 65 percent. This creates an unsustainable, lopsided relationship, forcing millions of parents and gig-economy workers to relinquish up to two-thirds of their money,” David says.
“Juggle Street’s disruptive model is a win for busy parents and their children, it’s a win for gig economy workers, and it’s a win for Juggle Street and its shareholders.”
David also says Juggle Street owes much to Fishburners for the support before and during the pandemic.
“We moved into Fishburners in early 2018 and we felt instantly at home. The team at Fishburners and the whole ecosystem have been incredibly supportive to Juggle Street during the COVID crisis. The team quickly adapted to working from home during 2020, but we are also glad to be back in the office in 2021,” David says.
“Moving forward, the team will split its time between home and York Street, there is no replacement for the energy, enthusiasm and creativity generated in Fishburners!”