Starting a family is one of the toughest things in this century. We’re concerned about the mother’s journey through prenatal and postnatal stages of her pregnancy, down to the nursery that the child would go to, down to the nutrition they’ll both require. A lot of considerations are taken before most families embark on this journey.
Mom and baby care comprises of online platforms providing products for babies and also those that offer maternity products. It includes platform for parents to help them in raising their children. These companies may be content portals, Q/A platforms, social networks and community sites. Babysitting service providers offering online booking or listing platforms that helps parents reach caregivers. Healthcare companies providing online services to parents (telemedicine). It also comprises of consumer devices like wearables that help in monitoring the health and whereabouts of the baby and apps/interactive sites that assist in education.
Since the inception of mankind, we have been plagued with maternal and natal issues.
No time has these been more important that in the 21st century.
Lots of companies offering solutions to most of these issues focus on varying aspects of this issue. Some are focused on the health of the mother and child, some are focused on the education of the parents while others are concerned about the clothing and growth of the child.
These sector has a lot of involvement from investors because of the current overpopulation crisis that has been going on in this time. With a total investment of $2.6B in 2015/2016, and a growth surge of over 1600 companies, there is much to expect from this sector of the economy.
Major problems faced in this sector would include:
There are some regulations against the production, sale and promotion of some baby food products.
With baby are goods, the most responsive consumers are city dwellers. Thus the market is under penetrated.
Handing down of clothes amongst siblings reduces the need for purchasing clothes as these apparels are given to the younger sibling.
Sellers aren’t making enough promotion activities to make their presence known.
Babysitter startups are faced with legal issues, payroll issues etc.
Less businesses and more population growth.
Less health workers getting involved in maternal and child care.
Since it is only city dwellers that have access to the services offered by online platforms, the market is reduced/limited and profit can be affected.
Regulations not only affects the production of baby food product, it also affects distribution, which in turn can affect the profit turnout of companies in this sector.
Legality of businesses can lead to lawsuits and other federal crime situations.
With less business startups, and more birth rates, the demand for mom and baby care products would exceed the available resources needed to satisfy them.
In tackling some of the problems faced by mothers and their babies, there have been a significant rise in investment to companies that cater for these needs.
With around 1600+ companies in the sector, 398 funded in last 5 years and $2.3B invested in 2015/16 (YTD), the subsectors in this sectors are picking up active investors like 500 Startups, Techstars, Wayra.
Commerce: Commerce segment of the Mom and Baby Care sector include companies that sell baby and maternity products like clothes, diapers, toys, strollers, baby formula, activity kits, gifts and more online. Brands like Johnson & Johnson, P&G, Munchkin, Carters, and Nestle hold the major chunk of the commerce market. However, players like Windeln (Germany), Zulily & Honest (USA), MiyaBaobei & BeiBei (China), and FirstCry and Hopscotch (India) have significant online presence. With total investment of $2.2B. Since 2008, there have been 727 companies founded in this sector. Its subsectors include:
Horizontal: Retailers offering baby & maternity products in multiple categories.
Apparel: Companies offering clothes for babies and moms.
Toys: Companies engaged in retailing and renting of toys for kids.
Educational Products: Companies offering books, art & craft, and activity kits for children.
Essentials: Companies offering diapers, wipes, and other lifestyle products for babies and moms.
Example of companies in this category are:
Wzhouhui: founded in 2013 in Shenzhen. They are B2C retailer of imported baby and maternal care products. Their major investor is Globalegrow. With a total funding of $278M.
Honest: founded in 2011 in Santa Monica. They provide ecofriendly Infant Products Subscription. Their investors include: Fidelity Investments, Lightspeed Venture Partners, General Catalyst Partners, Institutional Venture Partners, Pritzker Group, Iconiq Capital, Glade Brook Capital, Wellington Management, Darwin Ventures, AllianceBernstein.
Parenting: It has a total investment of $989M. Since 2008, there has been 195 founded companies. Traditionally, parenting has been a word-of-mouth process. Online parenting companies try to assist parents by providing them content related to pregnancy, growth of the child, and other child-related issues. These platforms enable parents connect with other parents or childcare experts. It helps them ask questions, take advice, arrange playdates and share photos & videos. Parenting companies also provide solutions to parents to monitor and track their child’s growth and safety. Big players in the segment include BabyTree, Lamabang, Cafemom, Babble, Filip, and more.
This sector has three subsectors:
Community: Platforms that help parents to connect with other parents and discuss issues or arrange playdates. Example of companies in this category are BabyTree, Yaolan, CafeMom etc.
Content: Content Aggregators and User Generated information portals that provide articles and blogs on parenting. Example of companies in this category are FamilyEducation, BabyCenter etc.
Tech Solutions: Consumer Devices and data management tools that help parents monitor their child’s safety and growth. Example of a company in this category is FiLIP.
Education: Education segment in the Mom and Baby Care sector include companies that provides resources for learning and tools that help children in their overall development. The sector emerged with companies providing an online resource offering a collection of books and content for parents to teach their young toddlers. These platforms help kids in language and cognitive learning, which results in engagement and better development of skills. Smart Toys and Wearables using AR/VR also made a huge impact. Big Players in the sector include Age of Learning, JumpStart, PlayKids, Speakaboos, and more. There have been 233 companies founded since 2008 till date. Subsectors include:
Digital Learning: Companies offering interactive platforms that help children learn through gamification. An example of company in this subsector is:
Age of Learning: founded in 2007 in Los Angeles. They offer gamified platform and content for kids of age 2-7. Funded by Iconiq Capital with funding of $150M.
Tech Products: Consumer Devices that interact with children to enhance and monitor their skills. An example of company in this subsector is:
NeoBear: founded in 2009 in Shanghai. They provide AR-based educational products for kids. They got a funding of $18.9M. Major investors are: Qualcomm, GGV Capital, Liuhe Capital, ZTE, sinolink securities etc.
Content: Educational Resources and Content Aggregators that help parents teach their children. An company in this sector is:
KidZui: founded in San Diego in 2006. They specialize in age appropriate web content for kids through a browser plugin. They got an investment of $18.4M. Major investors are: First Round Capital, Emergence Capital, Maveron, Rose Tech Ventures, Mission Ventures, Costella Kirsch.
Child Care providers: Child Care providers is a segment that helps parents find caregivers and preschools for their toddlers. Offline childcare centers and preschool chains existed to help parents manage their children and leave them their under supervision when they had errands to do. Online segment came up when tech savvy parents needed to find and book babysitters online. Mobile apps that allow parents to search for hyperlocal activities and camps for children were founded. Big Players include Care.com, Sittercity, Urbansitter, CareLuLu and others. 135 companies have been founded since 2008, with an investment of $236M. It has 4 subsectors:
BabySitting: Companies that help parents find and book babysitters. A major player in this subsector is:
Care.com: They help families find caregivers. Major investors are: NEA, Trinity Ventures, Institutional Venture Partners, Matrix Partners, USAA, Cross Creek Advisors. With a funding amount of $111M.
Concierge Services: Companies that help parents find and book activities for their children. A major player in this subsector is:
MyCity4Kids: founded in 2010 in Gurgaon. They offer listings for kids-related services. They have major investors like: Yournest, SIDBI Venture Capital.
DayCares/Preschool: Companies that help parents find and book classes at offline child care centers. A major player here is:
Babycare: founded in 1998 in Beijing. They offer child care and education center for babies. They have major investors like Vertex Ventures Israel, Harbinger Venture Management with investment amount of $16M,
Enablers: Tools for better management of childcare centers and babysitters.
HealthCare: Healthcare segment in the Mom and Baby Care sector includes companies that provides care solutions to babies and mothers. It includes companies providing tools for monitoring the health of babies and pregnant women through consumer devices like heart rate monitors, prenatal monitors and wearable devices. Telemedicine companies that help parents interact with pediatrics and doctors through chats or videos are also included. Big Players include Easyhin, Kinsa, Fengxinzi, Owlet Baby Care and more. This sector has 117 companies with a total funding amount of $162M. The subsectors are:
Tech Products: Consumer devices that help monitor health of babies and pregnant women. A major player is Kinsa founded in 2012 in New York City. They designed a Smart thermometer and have investors like IA Venttures, FirstMark Capital, Founder Collective, KPCB, Zenstone Venture Capital. They have received funding of $11.5M.
Software Solutions: Solutions that help monitor and record essential vitals of babies and mothers.
Services: Solutions that enable mothers to consult paediatrics and gynecologists.
Some interesting companies in this subsector are:
Easyhin [Shenzhen, 2014]: Easyhin is a mobile app through which consumers can ask questions on maternity and parenting to doctors of qualified Obstetrics and Gynecology Hospitals. Investors like: Morningside Ventures, SBCVC, Fosun Kinzon Capital, Hawthorn Investment. With an investment of over 27.02M.
SaferMom [Lagos, 2014]: SaferMom provides pregnant/nursing mothers with vital health information via SMS and voice services in any local language in undeserved slums and low income communities across sub-Sahara Africa. They also provide vaccination reminders, medical adherence, appointments and surveys. Apart from this, SaferMom also provides improved communication channels for organizations and care providers to easily communicate with the mothers they serve.
With the importance put in maternity and natal care, major investments have been put into the growth of Mom and Baby Care Startups. Proper care of mothers and children has been a major focus in the past century. This sector promises a lot of opportunities and investment sources. From online platform to telemedicine companies providing services to both mother and child, the seed of this sector can provide a lot of future prospects both for new startups and already existing ones.
Traxcn Report, Mom and Baby Care, August 2016.