Genevieve Thiers is not a household name in Silicon Valley, but many Chicagoans know her as the founder of Chicago-based Sittercity, a 10-year-old online subscription-service that marries families to caregivers around the country for help with their children, pets, and aging parents.
Thiers is also among a small, but growing number of second-time entrepreneurs beginning to emerge from Chicago’s young, but maturing tech scene. Next month, Thiers officially launches her newest startup, Contact Karma, with co-founder Maureen Wozniak (no relation to Apple co-founder Steve).
Her timing looks ideal. Sittercity appears to be on solid footing. It lists more than 2 million caregivers; its corporate customers include the Department of Defense, which uses the service to assist military families; and in April, it raised $22.6 million led by New World Ventures, bringing its total funding to date to $30 million. According to Thiers, Sittercity, along with the well-financed restaurant discovery and ordering service GrubHub, may not be far behind their local peer Groupon in filing for a public offering.
“There are a number of (Chicago-based) companies that could very well IPO if they wanted in future years,” she said.