These days, it seems like crowdsourcing is becoming an integral part of many existing online services. Major examples here in Japan would be websites like CrowdWorks and Lancers, where clients can find freelance workers. But many other companies want a piece of this seven billion yen market .
One such Japanese company is iSitter, a service similar to US-based Urbansitter. It launched just a few days ago, providing a crowdsourcing site that helps busy moms find qualified babysitters. The site requires babysitters to identify themselves using their Facebook credentials, which helps ensure safety for mothers and children. The company takes this precaution a step further, doing check ups on newly registered babysitters as well (checking things like their driver’s license, health-insurance, etc). Their five star review system provides objective evaluations of registered care-takers.
Although iSitter is a much needed service, it might be headed down a rocky road in Japan. In this country there is not really any babysitting culture, perhaps since Japan is generally a safe place where parents can leave young children at home by themselves.
But according to iSitter, the babysitting market is a 20.5 billion yen market in Japan. And it will be interesting to see whether or not they can succeed in grabbing some of that.
Besides the hourly wage paid to babysitters, iSitter is free to use. The company’s goal is to acquire 3,000 parents and 200 babysitters within a year. In the future it is expected to implement a paid model, with a monthly fee of a few hundred yen.
As of 2012. ↩