Today we’d like to introduce you to Ifrah Khan.
Ifrah, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I was a student at Emory, doing a free unpaid internship during my Sophomore year summer. I saw that a couple of my friends were babysitting and making good money. I babysat in the past in high school for my parent’s friends, teachers kids but stopped when I moved to Atlanta for college and did not have the same network I did in my hometown. There was a babysitting facebook group within my sorority with over 150 girls. This facebook group was more active than our actual sorority facebook group, with multiple babysitting gigs being posted each day.
I started taking up some of these gigs and babysitting to make some money since my internship was unpaid. I saw that most of these were parents who needed a babysitter for a couple of hours. There were also a lot of obstacles involved on both ends of the babysitting spectrum. First, parents went through hurdles texting their friends, past babysitters, posting on facebook groups, and even having their friends post on Facebook groups to find a couple of options. Students relied on Facebook pages to even have access to gigs. Getting a gig was another story.
After babysitting a few times, I realized how much these gigs helped me make some extra cash as a college student. I also got to meet really awesome families. Some of the parents had careers that I wanted to pursue so it gave me a really cool network on top of the cash I was making. I came up with Usit (University Sitting) to be the middleman in babysitting and eliminate the obstacles parents and students faced. On top of that, I wanted to make it easy for parents to have access to a large network of qualified student sitters and students to have easy access to babysitting gigs near them.
Now Usit is metro-Atlanta’s only on-demand babysitting app and has been available for a year with over 3,500 users. That’s over 2,000 moms and 1,000 students from top Universities. Usit not only focuses on creating a babysitting experience that is seamless, easy, and affordable but also creating a new community and network of moms and students.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
There are a lot of obstacles that any company dealing with children, whether it be childcare, child nutrition, or even children toys, faces. Instilling a sense of safety was one of the big issues we faced as a new babysitting service. The majority of people will use something they are familiar with. Usit is disrupting this and our big challenge was to get people to stop using traditional ways of finding a babysitter and try Usit for a seamless, easy, and affordable experience.
Once parents use our app, they get hooked and use it as a go-to babysitting platform. We face bumps and challenges every day but Usit solves every challenge with a new solution with a fast turnaround. We use the challenges in this industry to help grow our company and come up with innovative solutions no other child-care company tries. We serve and take into account the new millennial parents and their needs, which many companies ignore.
Usit – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Usit is an on-demand babysitting app that connects parents, especially working moms, to college student sitters near them. How exactly does Usit work? Parents and students have complete autonomy. Parents post a job by setting their own rate and details about their kids and themselves. Our platform is meant to be easy and stress-free. Posting a job takes less than a minute. The second a parent posts a job on Usit, our Usitters in the area immediately get a notification and apply within minutes. This isn’t Uber. The parent doesn’t automatically get matched with a sitter.
Parents get to personally pick who their sitter is by viewing multiple applicants to their job. It’s as easy as that. Why did I start this company? Here’s the story: When I was a student at Emory, my sophomore year summer I was interning for a real estate company. It was an unpaid internship so I wanted to make some extra money on the side. My sorority had a babysitting Facebook group where students posted babysitting opportunities they could not do for parents they babysat for at times.
Most opportunities were in the evening for a couple hours. The pay ranged from $12-$20 an hour. I had babysitting experience from babysitting my little brother and family friend’s/teacher’s kids while I was in high school. After babysitting throughout the summer, I saw an outrageous amount of obstacles that parents had to go through in getting a babysitter even for a simple date night. Students also faced obstacles in securing a babysitting gig for a couple of hours.
Even with other platforms (Care.com/Urbansitter), parents had to go through complicated steps and obstacles to get a simple babysitter. The majority of sitters on these platforms were 30+ years old and used as nannies.
That’s why I created Usit: to eliminate the obstacles parents and students faced by having Usit be the middleman in connecting a large network of parents to a large network of bright student sitters from top Universities. What’s unique about Usit compared to other babysitter/nanny finding platforms? We help the typical dual-income family/working mom with providing them with a stress-free way to find affordable, relatable, and bright student sitters within minutes. After gaining more than 1000 student sitters on our platform, Usit has now changed its vetting process to give the company an even greater competitive advantage.
Every single babysitter on our platform is a certified Usit babysitter through a babysitting course that must be completed by each sitter on the platform. The company is also conducting mandatory background checks on every student on the platform every 6 months. We want every parent to not think twice about safety when using our platform.
Why did we change the vetting process? We believe in iteration and improvement. After being available for a year, we are now increasing vetting to make ourselves more competitive with the larger platforms like Care and Urbansitter. Our solution is unconventional and disruptive. With Usit, parents can plan more date nights just because they can with no more hassle and no more obstacles.
What am I most proud of as a company? The fact that we have helped students make over thousands of dollars while simultaneously meeting amazing families who work at or even own wonderful companies in the Atlanta community. Usit has not only helped make a new community of families and students but has also helped both sides of the babysitting spectrum like no other babysitting platform has done. We are part of a bigger purpose of connecting people to help people.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
How do I personally define success? When I talk to clients, including students and parents, and hear that Usit has actually made a positive difference in their lives by introducing them to a new network, giving them a new source of income, or making their life easier. I want to do this on a bigger scale. Not just Atlanta, but also in major cities around the U.S. That’s a big marker that I personally define success by.
- Website: https://www.usit.care
- Phone: 813-401-9668
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/usit_app/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/usitmobileapp/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/usit_app
Amina Maria Montana