Gurgaon-based mother and baby-care startup The Moms Co raised $1 million Series A funding. The round was led by Saama Capital and DSG Consumer Partners. This is the startup’s second round of funding.
From creams and lotions, to soaps and shampoos, new mothers are often wary of the products they use for their child, most doubting the ingredients used. Hours of research are put in before a decision is made, and many just end up with home-made products.
London-based former banker Malika Sadani related to this sentiment, and on a move back to India, doubted products available in the market. So much so that Malika and husband Mohit, who live in Gurgaon, relied on friends and family’s travel plans to source products for their daughters.
This gave birth to the idea of The Moms Co to make natural products for children and new mothers, but it received the much-needed impetus when a friend travelling from the US couldn’t get the products requested.
Building the products
“It was snowing in Boston, and he was stuck cross-country, so we were finally out of luck,” says Malika.
That’s when the couple decided to explore the manufacture of high-quality products in India, and also why no one else was doing it.
The three-year old company has expanded its presence across most online marketplaces, and is even opening two stores in Delhi-NCR’s premium maternity hospitals. It counts over 5,000 mothers as customers and is using this direct connect for product feedback and to create the next ranges of natural, certified toxin-free products.
While there are several brands in the market in mother and child care space, The Moms Co claims to be different. It started out with a kit of four products for moms to be – body wash, body butter, body oil and a natural foot cream - and the product portfolio now also has lotions and soaps for children.
This was when the startup raised angel funding. With the latest fund-raising, the team aims to reach over 15,000 mothers by March, and expand the natural, toxin-free skin and food products range across baby and mother care.
A unique space
Ash Lilani, Managing Partner and Co-founder, Saama Capital, says the company believes there is a huge unmet demand for high quality and natural products for mothers. He says,
“We have seen our other portfolio companies like Raw Pressery, Sula Vineyards, and Veeba Foods build significant businesses with a similar focus on product quality and customer experience. And Malika’s vision in building natural premium products with a strong focus on product quality and safety above all else is what excited us most about The Moms Co.”
Malika is also looking to expand The Moms Co's presence across offline stores and channels. For the first six months, she spoke to mothers and understood there was a gap in the market. Based on this, she spoke to friends and her network to help get access to cosmetic experts.
The manufacturing process
The Moms Co claims the products are developed by key cosmetic experts from Australia, Switzerland and India, and the ingredients are checked for toxicity against databases across the globe.
The products, which are contract manufactured, go through a stability test to ensure they are stable across different temperature and weather conditions.
The team adds the products also undergo microbial tests to ensure they are free from heavy metals, mineral oil, and microbial growth, etc. “We then send our products for dermatological evaluation to ensure that there are no irritants in them. All our products are also certified toxin free and made safe by Safe Cosmetics Australia,” says Mohit.
The product offerings are priced between Rs 250 and Rs 700.
“It is just amazing how mothers intuitively believe that these products are important. We have got calls from mothers asking us when the products are going to be launched, or what ingredients would be good. It is a truly great and humbling experience,” adds Mohit.
MD Deepak Shahdadpuri, Founder, DSG Consumer Partners Asia, adds they had identified the mother and child segment as an attractive opportunity across personal care, food and nutrition.
“We believe The Moms Co’s focus on building a brand that is safe, natural and toxin-free will resonate with parents looking for high-quality products. We look forward to supporting them in their growth journey as they look at helping Moms around the world,” he says.