Sigby raises cash to help busy parents find cool activities for their kids

One of the many kids’ programs listed on Sigby

Sigby is a service designed for folks like me — a busy parent who wants to find educational and fun activities for their kids. And within the first 30 seconds of jumping on the site this morning, I struck gold, learning about a educational program at Seattle’s arboretum that would be perfect for my son.

Sigby is hoping that more parents like me discover the site, and it just scored $1.2 million in seed funding to help make sure more folks hear about. Investors in the round include WRF Capital, Clear Fir and Trilogy Equity Partners — the latter being the venture capital firm where co-founder and CEO Katie Thompson previously worked.

Katie Thompson

Available at this point in the Puget Sound, Sigby compiles dozens of classes and camps for kids — from soccer camps to art classes to Irish dance lessons. It currently has thousands of programs, including activities from Seattle Children’s Theater, Studio East, Shoofly, I-9 Sports, Thrive Art School, and Mercer Island Parks and Recreation.

“For exasperated parents, there’s no other place like Sigby,” said WRF Capital’s Loretta Little. “It truly is a one-stop site that is so convenient.”

The service is free, with Sigby making its money by passing leads to the various classes and schools. They pay a fee once a booking is received via Sigby. Users can search the directory by age, location or  topic area.

As I mentioned, I quickly found a fun program for my son this morning. And while I made it through the various steps of registration, the site kept rejecting my attempt to pay for the class. Update: Turns out there was an issue with the promo code I was using, which has now been resolved.

Nonetheless, the arrival of the service likely will be welcomed by parents throughout the Seattle area who are looking for fun activities for their kids. In fact, this appears to be a growth industry. Red Tricycle, which also operates an event calendar for family activities, recently scored $1.5 million from Maveron and others. The service also is a bit reminiscent of TeachStreet, the former Dave Schappell-led startup that was acquired and shut down by Amazon.com last year.

Sigby was previously known as Funnerator, and we featured the startup last year as part of our Startup Spotlight series. Asked about the inspiration for the idea, Thomspon had this to say:

“I realized I could look online and find more information about the flange on the coffee maker I just shipped to my in-laws than I could find on the Karate school my kids are enrolled in.  It didn’t seem right that while we all love our kids and want the best for them, despite all the great tools available on the Internet, finding, selecting and booking out of school activities for kids was still a logistical nightmare.”

Check out that coverage here.

  • Stephen

    Congrats Katie! Well done.

  • Martin

    Congrats Katie. Great concept and awesome to see you having early success with your start-up!

  • http://www.Empower.me/ Bryan Starbuck

    Congrats Katie!

  • http://www.facebook.com/scottru Scott Ruthfield

    Congrats to Katie and the Sigby team! I’m a huge fan and am excited to see them wrestle this data set under control with a gorgeous user experience.

  • http://twitter.com/zang0 Deep Dhillon

    Big congrats to Katie and team! Great to see Sigby making big strides.