Pearachute is a subscription-based service for parents to find and book local activities for their children. Desiree Vargas Wrigley, CEO and one of the most notable female entrepreneurs in Chicago, founded her second business through Republic, an equity-based crowdfunding program that allows the public to invest in startups.
In addition to the monetary excitement from parents through Republic, Vargas Wrigley also raised $1.2 million from Sam Yagan, Match.com’s CEO. Yagan is currently on Pearachute’s advisory board as a steady digital marketing mentor for Vargas Wrigley as she takes on this fairly new business venture.
Before Vargas Wrigley started developing Pearachute, she was CEO of GiveForward (now partnered with YouCaring), an online crowdfunding website that allows users to start fundraisers with no platform fees and access to 8 million donors. Vargas Wrigley started GiveForward back in 2008 at just 25 years old, and the platform has raised over $100 million since the first donation. Now over a decade later, Vargas Wrigley is at it again with the Pearachute app and a new entrepreneurial vision.
Majoring in business must have been a factor, right? Not in Vargas Wrigley’s case. She graduated from Yale with a bachelor’s degree in Latin American studies and didn’t start her entrepreneurial journey until she worked as a specialist at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, right before GiveForward’s birth. Despite her success in crowdfunding, Vargas Wrigley’s primary reason for getting out of bed in the morning is building communities and family bonds. “Parents and children should spend more time playing and less time planning,” the company writes on their website. If you agree, you can still invest in Pearchute through Republic.
With technology argued to be vastly separating children from their parents, Pearachute nixes this notion and brings community back into applications–a triumph the public can continue to invest in.
UPDATE: Pearachute is no longer in business.