ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Albuquerque’s share-based, online baby-equipment rental firm Babierge Inc. is now serving families at hotels and resorts in the U.S. and the Caribbean through a new partnership with Destination Hotels.
That puts the Babierge brand in high-end boutique resorts in 40 different markets where Destination Hotels owns properties. That’s a big deal for a local startup that only incorporated its online rental service in May of last year.
“It’s the first partnership of this kind between a baby equipment platform like ours and a hotel operator,” said Kerri Couillard, Babierge founder and chief technology officer. “We’re hoping to build on it to start partnering with more brands.”
The partnership reflects Babierge’s rapid growth. Couillard initially started the company in Santa Fe with her husband in 2011 as a vehicle for renting their surplus baby gear in the local community. But as demand grew, Couillard sought to expand the business into a share-based service in markets throughout the U.S. and beyond.
She participated in the 2015 cohort of Hautepreneurs, an Albuquerque-based business accelerator and networking and mentoring organization for women. In 2016, Couillard brought Fran Maier, co-founder of the online dating service Match.com, into Babierge as CEO.
Since then, the company has extended its rentals into 65 metropolitan markets in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico, with 84 “trusted partners” servicing those markets.
Those are independent providers who rent their own equipment through the Babierge online system, Couillard said. They manage all local customer orders, providing delivery and equipment set up and retrieval.