A Belgian application called ''airBsit'', used to connect parents and baby-sitters, has seen a rapid expansion of users. As Ivor Bennett reports the two Brussels mothers behind its creation says it's the first of its kind on the continent.
Finding a friendly babysitter can be tough Especially at short notice. But fora this family in Belgium, it's no longer the worry it once was, thanks to a new app. (SOUNDBITE) (English) AIRBSIT USER AND MOTHER, BARBARA BRACQUENE, SAYING: "You just click once send and then you have all the responses that come in one go." The app is called airBsit, and is the first of its kind in Europe. Parents select preferences like language and rate. The app then lists up to 20 available babysitters, sorting them by location and ratings. A system that works both ways. (SOUNDBITE) (English) AIRBSIT BABY-SITTER, ELINE BENIEAUX, SAYING: "There was one family that I went to who lived right up my street and we didn't even know about the existence of this family or they didn't know I was living in their street. So it's easy to connect with people." So much so, the app's babysitter base has grown from a 100 when it launched in November to 11,000 now. And that's just in Belgium. (SOUNDBITE) (English) AIRBSIT CREATOR, GERALDINE BIEBUYCK, SAYING ON THE PRINCIPLE OF A SHARING ECONOMY DRIVING THEIR BUSINESS MODEL: "I think it's a new side of the economy and it's a new way of doing business. The difference with airBsit is that we don't steal a job from someone. We're an intermediary but no-one does it already." The company gets a commission on the first 15 minutes of a session. And says it needs mass users to make a profit. It may not be long before that happens though. With the app already spreading to Amsterdam and Luxembourg.