Silicon Valley-based Hello Baby wants to make parenting fun with its cute appsSharika Nair
This startup offers apps that include fun pregnancy trackers, virtual yoga classes, online records of the baby’s milestones as well as provide a community of parents to exchange parenting tips with.
Becoming a parent is a new and, often, scary phase. Caring 24/7 for a newborn brings with it a huge sense of responsibility as well as high levels of stress.
The Menlo Park, California-based Hello Baby offers a bunch of quirky family apps that ensure that new parents can approach pregnancy and parenting with a fun mindset. The latest app from the team, Hello Belly, is being marketed in Asian markets and is available in Mandarin, Japanese and Korean.
Vitaliy Urban, Founder and CEO, and Tim Raiter, Co-founder and CTO of Hello Baby do not have children but their extensive experience at agencies handling brands like Pampers and Huggies ensured that they were knowledgeable about parenting and baby care. The co-founders studied together at Moscow’s British Higher School of Art and Design, and it is their knowledge of art and design that has helped bring cuteness and fun to their app offerings.
Hello Baby has raised pre-series funding of $1 million and the team is currently looking to raise series A. Vitaliy says, With over 500k users globally, we are on our way to building an ecosystem of best-in-class parental apps. All our products are most-featured by Apple in category.
An ecosystem of family apps
Hello Baby, their first app, was launched in 2015 and works like an interactive baby album only for family. Named the best parental app of AppStore in 2015, Hello Baby is also a one-stop record of the baby’s milestones, health, and measurements, and provides a community of parents who can advise on parenting and related topics. The app also helps personalise printed albums and craft fun video stories of the little one.
Hello Belly was launched in January 2017 and has already gained more than 200k users. The app serves as a cute pregnancy guide for future moms and dads using art in a comics style. There is no heavy medical information, and only practical tips in a fun format.
Vitaliy says, “Not all of us have babies yet, so we are using the experience of all our relatives, experts and regularly conducting surveys among large groups of around 3,000 moms. We also listen to and incorporate the feedback we get from our current users.”
Cool apps live in Silicon Valley
Though Hello Baby remains a small team, in 2015 they moved to Silicon Valley. The parental app startup was able to scale up after joining BootUp, one of the best accelerators with experienced mentors who could guide them at the crucial phase.
Victoria Nayda, who leads marketing, explains their revenue model.
We have certain paid features in our apps. For instance, in Hello Belly, yoga video classes and 3D visualisations of the baby in the womb can be unlocked after payment. This forms our revenue source. We are particular about not having any advertisements which will mar the look of the app.
Hello Baby is a team of 14 including nine developers, three in content and marketing support, apart from the founders. The team is spread across eight different time zones.
The future looks bright and app-y
Viktoria says, “We have learnt a lot about medical aspects of pregnancy before writing this content. All content is ticked off by several specialist consultants in gynaecology, psychology, and paediatrics.”
Hello Baby has a strong presence in the US and Russia currently. The team hopes to make inroads into the Indian market. In India, the leading player among pregnancy and parenting apps continues to be Johnson & Johnson’s BabyCenter. Pregnancy apps from Indian firms include BabyChakra, Healofy, TinyStep and BabyBerry, among others.
Vitaliy signs off with, “All money raised in the first round ($500K) was spent on the product, and all the users we have now came organically. After our next round of funding, the money will be used for platform growth, building a dream team and strengthening our base in the US and Russian markets. We have been working with celebrity mums and we plan to get a Hollywood mama as a project ambassador. This marketing strategy is expected to be more effective than expensive Facebook or Instagram ads.”