Helen Mayer is the founder and CEO of Otter, a childcare startup. Otter matches parents with other stay-at-home parents for childcare, while stay-at-home parents can earn some money too.
Helen launched Otter around last fall of 2020 after her first EdTech startup, Forward F1rst, failed. At the same time, her twin's daycare center also shut down during the pandemic, which forced her to be a stay-at-home parent. She did start to look for jobs again and did get an offer, but turned it down because she felt she couldn't get access to childcare that was safe, reliable, and affordable during the pandemic. She started to dive further to understand how to improve the childcare system and conducted a survey in other parenting communities about childcare during the pandemic. She received 2,000 responses in just a week.
Fast forward a bit more, Otter raised seed funding by the fall of 2020 that was led by Andreessen Horowitz. As of recently, Otter raised $23 million from series A led by Sequoia Capital, with participation from Andreessen Horowitz, Abstract Ventures, and Thrive Capital.