Sheila Lirio Marcelo

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Sheila Lirio Marcelo is a Filipino-American entrepreneur and the founder and CEO of, a website which provides services to find caregivers.


Marcelo was born and raised in the Philippines, growing up in an entrepreneurial household that was involved in a number of businesses from coconut mills to mango and banana plantations to transportation and coal production.[1] Part of her early childhood was spent in Houston with her five siblings.[2] When Marcelo was 11, she attended Brent International School in Baguio.

She graduated from Mt. Holyoke College with a degree in economics and received M.B.A. and J.D. degrees from Harvard University.[3] It was during her undergraduate years at Mt. Holyoke that Marcelo had her first child;[4] her second son was born right after graduating from Harvard Business School.[5] While attending Harvard she also spent 30 hours a week on community activities, worked on several campus businesses and provided consulting services for the design of Harvard’s Spangler center.[6]

Prior to founding, she served as a consultant at Monitor Company,[7] Pyramid Research and Putnam, Hayes & Bartlett,[8] a teaching fellow at Harvard Business School,[9] Vice President of Product Management and Marketing at Upromise an online service helping families save money for college, Vice President and General Manager of, an online service helping people find jobs and entrepreneur-in-resident in the Boston office of Matrix Partners.[10]

She currently lives near Boston, Massachusetts with her husband and two sons.[11]

Founder of[edit]

Marcelo faced her first care challenge when she had her first child.[12] She was a college student and immigrant, and didn't have family nearby as a support system.[13] While helping care for her second baby boy, her father suffered a heart attack and she struggled to find care for him, as well as child care for her two sons.[14] Marcelo realized there was a need in the market to help families find care. She waited five years to launch a startup because she wanted to get more operational and managerial experience and make sure her family was ready.[15] addresses the unique lifecycle care needs that each family goes through – helping families select child care, senior care, special needs care, tutoring, pet care, housekeeping and more. The site includes prescreened profiles, monitored messaging, access to background checks, recorded references and educational information on the interviewing process.[16]

As of August 2012, has raised more than $111 million in venture capital from investors,[17] including LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman.[18] The company went public January 24, 2014, and was priced at $17.[19] Today the site has more than 9.7 million members, spanning 16 countries.[20] Marcelo is one of the few female technology entrepreneurs to raise more than $35 million in venture capital funding.[21]

Non-Profit and Advisory Work[edit]

Marcelo is a Board Trustee of the Philippine Development Foundation (formerly the Ayala Foundation[22]), a non-profit that works with the Philippine government on education, innovation and entrepreneurship.[23] She is a finalist judge for Harvard Business School's annual business plan competition and an adviser to the school’s Arthur Rock Center for Entrepreneurship.[24] Marcelo also acts as an adviser to other companies, such as FlipKey.[25] In 2012, she was a mentor to the winning team in Hack2Hatch, a competition for entrepreneurs in the Philippines.[26]

Marcelo also launched, an organization that aims to increase women’s role in the global economy by providing leadership training, mentorship and support to girls and women through every stage of their lives and careers.[27] In the summer of 2013, WomenUp partnered with and The Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) to run a two-week leadership camp for 7th and 8th grade girls.[28] WomenUp and also sponsored a business plan competition for female entrepreneurs in August 2013.[29]

Controversy Over Idea for[edit]

While working as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Venture capital firm Matrix Partners, Marcelo met with the founders of and, two existing websites for finding caregivers, in order to discuss a potential investment and bringing Marcelo in as CEO.[30] Matrix Partners did not invest in either firm and months later Marcelo would found

Mike Cravens, the founder of, has alleged that Marcelo "used that information to jump-start". Anne Raimondi, a spokesperson for Matrix, responded that: “We can appreciate that the companies in question do not like competition, but we do not believe that their claims of unfair treatment are at all merited because both Sheila and we said from the earliest discussions with these companies that we were considering competitive options and not to share any information with us that they were not comfortable sharing.” [31]


External video
Sheila Lirio Marcelo headshot-2013.jpg
Forum Live Interview With Sheila Lirio Marcelo, World Economic Forum

Marcelo has appeared on NBC’s “Today Show”, CBS’s “The Early Show” and “ABC News Now” and in media outlets such as The Boston Globe, Working Mother and Redbook to provide care planning advice.[32]

She was awarded a Marshall Memorial Fellowship and named as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.[33]

She was named one of The Boston Globe's 100 Innovators of 2013.[34]

She received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2010 award.[35]

She was named one of the top 40 entrepreneurs under 40 years of age by the Boston Business Journal.[36]

She was named one of the 10 most powerful women in Boston Tech by The Boston Globe.[37]

In 2012, she was named a “Tech Luminary Innovation All-Star” by the Boston Business Journal.[38]

She was named by Fortune Magazine as one of the 10 most powerful women entrepreneurs in 2009.[39]

She was inducted into the Academy of Women Achievers by the YMCA in 2013.[40]

Marcelo was named to The Aspen Institute’s 2012 Class of Henry Crown Fellows.[41]


  1. ^ Susan Chaityn Lebovits, "Tapping Web of caregivers," The Boston Globe, December 9, 2007.
  2. ^ Susan Chaityn Lebovits, "Tapping Web of caregivers," The Boston Globe, December 9, 2007.
  3. ^ Sheila Lirio Marcelo biography, World Economic Forum.
  4. ^ Charlene Oldham, "Let's Be Clear," Success Magazine, October 8, 2012.
  5. ^ "Weston resident named Henry Crown Fellow," WickedLocal, April 2, 2012.
  6. ^ "8 Harvard Business School Women who Founded Great Startups,” Top MBA Connect.
  7. ^ Beth Pitts, "Sheila Marcelo, Founder & CEO,, on Raising $111m," The NextWomen magazines, February 5, 2013.
  8. ^ Allison Rubin, "Girl Scouts of Eastern Massachusetts Honors Sheila Lirio Marcelo as a Leading Woman," WestonPatch, September 16, 2013.
  9. ^ Beth Pitts, "Sheila Marcelo, Founder & CEO,, on Raising $111m," The NextWomen magazines, February 5, 2013.
  10. ^ 40 under 40: Sheila Lirio Marcelo,” Boston Business Journal, October 5, 2009.
  11. ^ Zach Davis, "13 Questions with CEO Sheila Marcelo," Tech Cocktail, August 17, 2012.
  12. ^ Beth Pitts, "Sheila Marcelo, Founder & CEO,, on Raising $111m," The NextWomen magazines, February 5, 2013.
  13. ^ Beth Pitts, "Sheila Marcelo, Founder & CEO,, on Raising $111m," The NextWomen magazines, February 5, 2013.
  14. ^ Susan Chaityn Lebovits, "Tapping Web of caregivers," The Boston Globe, December 9, 2007.
  15. ^ Jana Kasperkevic, “'s Founder Waited Five Years to Launch,” Inc. Magazine, July 9, 2013.
  16. ^ Citybizlist Interviews Sheila Marcelo, CEO,,” CityBizList Boston, May 14, 2012.
  17. ^ Kate Abbott, “How I Got Here:'s Sheila Marcelo,” Bloomberg Businessweek, September 4, 2012.
  18. ^ "Citybizlist Interviews Sheila Marcelo, CEO,,” CityBizList Boston, May 14, 2012.
  19. ^ Jordan Graham, "Experts: IPO shows Boston’s Web savvy," Boston Herald, January 24, 2014.
  20. ^ Kyle Alspach, " sets IPO share range at $14-$16; could raise up to $86M," Boston Business Journal, January 10, 2014.
  21. ^ The Moms who are Changing the World,”
  22. ^ Philippine Development Foundation, Commission on Filipinos Overseas.
  23. ^ Patricia Resende, "Mass. groups emphasize international collaboration with new programs," Boston Business Journal, April 22, 2013.
  24. ^ Kate Abbott, “How I Got Here:'s Sheila Marcelo,” Bloomberg Businessweek, September 4, 2012.
  25. ^ Erick Schonfeld, "TripAdvisor Invests In Vacation-Home Review Site FlipKey," TechCrunch, August 20, 2008.
  26. ^ "Web app startup ‘Orchestrack’ wins 1st Hack2Hatch," The Philippine Star, November 5, 2012.
  27. ^ Susan Johnston, "’s Sheila Marcelo on Building a Successful Consumer Website," VentureFizz, July 30, 2012.
  28. ^ "Girl Empower: The NFTE Summer BizCamp Experience," Wellesley Patch, May 16, 2013.
  29. ^ Kyle Alspach, " sponsors biz plan contest for female entrepreneurs," Boston Business Journal, August 12, 2013.
  30. ^ "Websites’ rivalry provides lesson about sharing strategy". Retrieved 14 July 2013. 
  31. ^ Scott Kirsner, "The Backstory: On, Sittercity, Entrepreneurs, and Entrepreneurs-in-Residence,", November 23, 2009.
  32. ^ Sheila Lirio Marcelo,” VentureBeatProfiles.
  33. ^ and its Founder CEO Sheila Lirio Marcelo Raise $25 million in Venture Capital,” News on Women, October 12, 2011.
  34. ^ Cindy Atoji Keene, "Top innovators in Massachusetts," Boston Globe, May 19, 2013.
  35. ^ Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year® 2010 award winners in New England announced,” Ernst & Young web site.
  36. ^ 40 under 40: Sheila Lirio Marcelo,” Boston Business Journal, October 5, 2009.
  37. ^ Scott Kirsner, “The 10 most powerful women in Boston tech (plus 5 up-and-comers),” Boston Globe, February 8, 2012.
  38. ^ "Tech Luminary: Sheila Lirio Marcelo," Boston Business Journal, November 16, 2012.
  39. ^ Most Powerful Women Entrepreneurs: Sheila Lirio Marcelo,” Fortune Magazine, December 18, 2009.
  40. ^ Mark Shanahan and Meredith Goldstein, "Civil rights trailblazer Glendora Putnam honored," Boston Globe, June 30, 2013.
  41. ^ Aspen Institute Names Sheila Lirio Marcelo as 2012 Henry Crown Fellow,” Weston Patch, March 12, 2012.

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