Kuala Lumpur, 29 September 2023 – Malaysia’s pioneering childcare services platform, Kiddocare, recently announced the successful completion of its Pre-Series A round. The round included strategic investments from prominent investors, led by Artem Ventures, with participation from Gobi Partners, MSW Ventures Asia Fund X and ScaleUp Malaysia. Gobi Partners’ participation via the Khazanah Nasional Bhd-backed Gobi Dana Impak Fund (GDIV) underscores Kiddocare’s pivotal role in creating impact within the Malaysian economy and its promising future.
This investment strategically positions Kiddocare for accelerated growth and innovation. The company will leverage these resources to expand its platform, reach a wider audience demographic, and create fresh opportunities for women in caregiving and across many sectors.
Founded in 2019, Kiddocare is a homegrown on-demand caregiving platform that connects parents with verified childcare providers based on their preferences for time and location. These caregivers undergo rigorous screening and training, adhering to Kiddocare’s stringent protocols before joining the platform. To ensure utmost safety, a dedicated customer service team manages each booking, providing real-time updates.
Kiddocare simplifies the booking process through its user-friendly app, currently serving the Greater Klang Valley and expanding its reach to regions like Seremban and Johor Bahru, with nationwide expansion plans in the pipeline. The platform primarily caters to urban millennial mothers, who wield substantial purchasing power and seek reliable childcare solutions.
The driving force behind Kiddocare’s success lies in its dynamic co-founders, both working mothers themselves. Nadira Yusoff, Kiddocare Founder and CEO, brings two decades of experience, having previously co-founded a tech company specialising in education solutions. Muhaini Mahmud, Kiddocare Co-Founder, brings over a decade of corporate expertise, with her most recent role being the Director of Corporate Affairs at Weststar Group of Companies.
Kiddocare Founder and CEO, Nadira Yusoff stated: “Central to our mission is the professionalisation of caregivers. In an industry that often lacks recognition, we are committed to setting new standards. Through innovative technology, necessary training and certification, career paths and social safety nets, Kiddocare ensures that caregivers are equipped with the skills, knowledge and support necessary to provide top-tier care. This investment reinforces our resolve to elevate caregiving as a respected and professionalised career of choice.”
A 2018 Time Use study by The Khazanah Research Institute revealed that Malaysian women spent an average 3.6 hours (15.2%) of their time on unpaid care work, compared to men’s 2.2 hours (9.3%). This disparity signifies that women spent 63.6% more time on unpaid care work compared to men. According to the United Nations Development Program report, structural changes in this area have the potential to generate millions of jobs for women and contribute significantly to Malaysia’s GDP.
The care economy, although undeniably significant, is frequently underappreciated. Kiddocare is on a mission to change this perception by advocating for the care economy and highlighting its pivotal role in bolstering families, communities, and the broader economy.
Artem Managing Partner, Low Zhen Hui said: “When we first met Nadira, we recognised Kiddocare’s potential to magnify the care economy by empowering women to become highly skilled caregivers. Through the application of technology, caregivers have more options to not only expand their capabilities and knowledge, but also explore new ways to evolve their careers with Kiddocare. With our partner FWD Group, we aim to collaborate closely with Kiddocare in further enriching caregivers and enhancing customer experience.”
While conventional childcare roles often yield less than RM2,000 per month, Kiddocare offers the potential for weekly earning of up to RM1,500, affording women the flexibility to navigate motherhood and education. The Kiddocare Academy further provides opportunities for career advancement through specialised training programmes for carers, such as counselling, eldercare, tutoring and entrepreneurship.
Jamaludin Bujang, Managing Partner (Malaysia), Gobi Partners, said: We’ve been monitoring Kiddocare’s progress for several years, and we believe the current momentum warrants our investment. While we recognise that managing the gig industry poses challenges, as it is inherently subject to leakages and low stickiness, we think that Kiddocare’s operating model is defensible. As such, we believe it is poised to make a significant economic impact to the country. We’re confident in Nadira and her team’s ability to reach this ambitious goal.”
MSW Ventures Asia Fund X General Partner Jeffrey Seah said, “Acquisiting childcare services is a stressful, high-involvement parenting process, the triumvirate factors of quality, availability and consistency underwrite the decision making process. Kiddocare has significantly reduced those parenting insecurities through their focus on quality – market-leading training programs, qualification-based service standards set by industry experts and building up a caregiver base motivated to constantly upgrade skillets and service delivery. Nadira and her team have ably injected trust into a family care service acquisition platform built on the logistical reach of the gig economy. This is my second cheque in support of Nadira and Kiddocare, she epitomises the characteristics of an Asia Fund X founder.”
“We invested with Kiddocare in 2020, amidst the global crisis, recognizing the untapped potential in the care economy. Nadira’s vision to empower families and professionalise caregiving resonated with us. Today, we’re thrilled to see Kiddocare evolve into a catalyst for economic growth and women’s empowerment. We’re committed to fueling this transformative journey.” said Dr. Sivapalan Vivekarajah, Senior Partner & Co-Founder of ScaleUp Malaysia.
GDIV is part of Khazanah’s Future Malaysia Programme (FMP), an initiative under the sovereign wealth fund’s Dana Impak (Impact Fund) mandate, with the aim to support the Malaysian start-up ecosystem. Dana Impak is a key pillar of Khazanah’s Advancing Malaysia strategy that aims to deliver socioeconomic impact for Malaysia across six themes — Digital Society and Technology, Quality Health and Education for all, Decent Work and Social Mobility, Food and Energy Security, Building Climate Resilience, and Competing in Global Markets.
Kiddocare’s alignment with three of these themes namely Digital Society and Technology; Quality Health and Education; and Decent Work and Social Mobility makes it an ideal candidate for the fund.