The two companies combined will have about 7 million members, said Sheila Lirio Marcelo, who came up with the idea for Care.com after struggling to find help for her children and sick father. Terms of the deal, paid largely with equity, were not disclosed.
Care.com, which has raised $61 million in funding, has been expanding as more people look online to find caregivers, along with tutoring and housekeeping services. The Waltham, Massachusetts-based company opened offices in Canada and the U.K. earlier this year.
“It made absolute sense for the companies to come together,” said Marcelo, chief executive officer of Care.com. “This isn’t a U.S.-specific phenomenon. Care is a truly global issue.”
Founded in 2006, Care.com has grown to about 5 million members and its sales had a compound annual growth of 90 percent from 2009 to 2011, Marcelo said.
Care.com makes money from online subscriptions, along with the fees that service providers pay to be on the website. In addition, companies that provide off-site services, such as day care centers, may pay referral fees. The company also has corporate customers, including Google and Facebook, which offer Care.com as an added benefit for employees.
Besser Betreut offers similar services, said Steffen Zoller, founder and co-chief executive officer at the company, which was started in 2007. It serves customers in more than 15 countries, including Italy, France and Sweden. As part of the agreement, Besser Betreut will become an operating unit of Care.com.
“We know that Care.com is a big, interesting company,” Zoller said. “For us, it makes sense to share experiences and to share the resources.”
Marcelo said dating and recruitment sites have helped make people comfortable with the idea of getting personal-care services online. The company will continue to look for ways to expand globally, including more acquisitions, she added.
“We are always looking now for the strategic growth all around the world,” she said.