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Zum, the Uber for kids, got more money to service more cities

Zum, the Uber for kids, got more money to service more cities
[Photo: RayBay/Unsplash]

Zūm, the on-demand ride-hailing app that is like an Uber for kids–if Uber were outfitted with car seats and had CPR-certified drivers with deep background checks–just got $40 million in Series C funding.

The new round, led by BMW i Ventures with participation from new investors NGP Capital, Volvo Cars Tech Fund, Clearvision, Draper Nexus, and existing investors Sequoia Capital and Spark Capital, brings Zum’s total funding to $67 million. While funding news is usually a bit of a snoozer, this one matters because the more money Zūm gets, the more quickly it can expand its very badly needed service to help busy parents from sea to shining sea and everywhere in between.

Zūm currently ferries kids from home to school and from school to after-school activities in California, and soon in Dallas and Chicago, helping school districts save on bussing by letting them customize and scale their transportation options as needed. That lets Zūm tap into the $23 billion-a-year student transportation industry, that badly needs, ahem, disrupting.

That’s all well and good, but Zūm also helps parents juggle their kids’ schedules, with a vetted, safe driver able to take their kid from school to piano lessons and from piano lessons to home while parents, you know, work. The company’s state-of-the-art route optimization engine and vehicle tracking ensure enhanced safety and efficiency for riders, and its real-time dashboards mean school districts have full visibility into every child’s ride from start to finish.

The new funding will let Zūm grow its proven business model and increase school partnerships throughout the country. In 2018, it partnered with more than 150 new school districts, operating in over 400 cities and towns throughout the country. In 2019, Zūm will expand to serve markets beyond California with a goal to double its footprint by 2020.

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