Baby Quip – Baby Gear Rental Service

baby quipBaby Quip is kind of an Uber or AirBnB for baby gear. Think of the last time you traveled with a baby and try to envision all the stuff you needed to tote along. A travel crib, car seat, stroller and more can make it seem like you’re going on a safari rather than a vacation.  Fran and Joe Maier, a mother and son entrepreneurial team saw a problem for people traveling with babies and created their business to solve it.

Fran is no stranger to tech start-ups: she was one of the founders of Match.com and she’s on a dozen boards of small tech companies. She’s also an AirBnB superstar who earns a nice chunk of change with the platform in Southern California. Joe is a tech guy as well: he has experience building complex, back-end web platforms. Together, they’ve grown baby Quip from an idea into a juggernaut in the new baby gear rental business.

In just 4 years, they’ve gone from zero to providing their service in over 500 cities in North America. They didn’t do it alone, however. The critical “last mile” of service delivery is performed by thousands of “Quality Providers,” independent contractors who literally deliver the goods to the end user.

How it Works

Say you’re going on vacation to Orlando. You want to bring your baby, but you don’t want to schlepp all the associated gear with you. You go onto the Baby Quip website and order up a crib, stroller and car seat. That order is forwarded to a local Quality Provider in Orlando who delivers the gear to you at your chosen location: the airport, your hotel or whatever. For an added fee, they’ll even deliver items like diapers. When your vacation is over, the Provider picks up the gear and you’re on your way.

Quality Providers have to provide their own inventory and they’re responsible for keeping things clean and in safe working order. Baby Quip provides all the insurance (for a percentage of the Provider’s income) and collects an 18.5% fee on every order. Quality Providers – largely moms looking for extra income – earn an average of around $600 per month providing the service.

Fran and Joe have proven their concept works and they’re looking to be as big as the AirBnB’s of the world. To expand, they’ll need capital and more help. They’re hoping a Shark will join them on their journey to baby gear rental domination.

My Take on Baby Quip

As a father of five, I schlepped a lot of baby gear around the country while traveling when my kids were little. It was a pain in the neck and about 30% of the time, the airlines lost my car seat! Now, with airlines charging for extra baggage, taking along a bunch of stuff for baby can get pricey in addition to inconvenient. People going on vacation want to relax, not sweat the hassles of bringing along baby gear.

A quick review of a local Baby Quip Provider showed me I can rent a crib, stroller and car seat for $25 per day. For a seven day vacation, that’s $175. If i had to pay fifty bucks for each item to be checked on an airplane, it would cost $150 each way. I would actually save money by renting from Baby Quip and I’d be spared the hassle of traveling with all that gear. I am IN.

Will Sharks Equip This Business With a Deal?

The Maiers have a couple of good things going for them: they proved their concept and they have a history of success in this kind of business. I expect a very smart pitch and some intelligent interaction with the Sharks. If their numbers are good and their valuation is reasonable, I predict multiple offers.

Mr. Wonderful will tout his huge mailing list for his “Something Wonderful Platform.” He can put Baby Quip out in front of millions of new customers overnight. I expect him to bid. Mark will like the Maiers’ capabilities and their tech savvy. I expect him to bid too. Robert may also have interest as he’s partial to businesses that are completely online.

Whether Fran and Joe accept any offers remains to be seen.

About Rob Merlino

Entrepreneur, auteur, raconteur. Rob Merlino is a blogger and writer who enjoys the Shark Tank TV show and Hot Dogs. A father of five who freelances in a variety of publications, Rob has a stable of websites including Shark Tank Blog, Hot Dog Stories, Rob Merlino.com and more.

Comments

  1. I enjoyed reading your article on renting travel gear. It’s great to hear your prospective on its convenience. We also offer this service in South Florida after witnessing a change in the way people are traveling. More travelers are looking for comfort and privacy with AirBnb and VRBO! Can’t wait to see the Shark Tank episode!

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