We caught up with Wally regarding his interest in this space and his involvement with SitterFriends.
Childcare is a large market with yearly revenue estimates ranging from $65B to $85B in the United States alone. At the same time, there has been little-to-no innovation in this space. If you read public reviews, or speak with parents, you realize that the childcare industry has many challenges making it ripe for innovation. Companies that can help improve service quality, reduce time to closure and lower overall costs can succeed greatly.
I’ve worked with Fahad Jalal (founder of SitterFriends) for several years at Mentor Graphics where I have been the Chairman and CEO. Fahad created a major business for the organization that exceeded $50 million per year in revenue. At the time, none of the members of the company’s management team believed that such an achievement was possible.
Fahad set incredibly aggressive goals for himself, focused directly and efficiently on achieving those goals and greatly exceeded them. Fahad alone, with no assigned customers, discovered a niche in the computer networking segment for our product and then produced sales with just one product that matched the total sales for all Mentor products in Fahad’s region of the U.S. Additionally, customers who Fahad brought to our company became the most satisfied of our users and they willingly paid for the value that they received.
I hold Fahad in the highest regard for his ability to set aggressive business goals and to exceed them. This investment in SitterFriends is as much an investment in this market space as it is on Fahad himself. The team that Fahad has put together is a group of balanced overachievers who possess all the right ingredients that make for a great startup team. They’ve put out a great product in just 4 months and in that time, their service and product is already the highest rated in the industry.
How are you involved?
My involvement is in the capacity of an advisor/mentor and investor. I help when Fahad and the team call me with any queries or problems they have.
Thank you, Wally, for your time and your thoughts on SitterFriends.