These five startups are redefining maternity wear for expectant mothers in India
A bunch of Indian startups have entered this segment to provide fashionable yet comfortable clothes for maternity wear and are growing by leaps and bounds.Sujata Sangwan
The rise in the number of expectant mothers in the workforce and high disposable incomes as well as the opening up of the markets have led to an increase in the demand for stylish maternity wear in India.
According to reports, the maternity wear industry in India was estimated at Rs 2,000 crore in 2017 and the segment is growing at around 15-17 percent year-on-year, thereby holding enormous potential for this burgeoning fashion retail vertical.
And that bunch of Indian startups that have entered this segment to provide fashionable yet comfortable maternity wear are growing by leaps and bounds.
YourStory has curated a list of five such startups focusing on clothing for a new or expectant mother:
The Mom Store
Founded by Surbhi Bhatia in July 2018, Bengaluru-based The Mom Store is an online portal that provides maternity wear, including dresses and gowns, tops and denim, nightwear, and nursing covers, along with baby products.
Over the last one year, the startup has introduced 12 categories across mother and baby products and has 350 stock keeping units (SKUs) across maternity wear, diaper bags, nursing pillows, baby apparel, baby accessories, dinner sets, baby bedding and blankets.
“The Mom Store is driven from my personal motherhood journey, from my search for products that were missing or not easily available in the Indian market,” Surbhi tells YourStory. “Our vision is to build an all-encompassing Indian mother and baby brand at par with international standards that provides everything that a mother needs for herself and her baby to have a delightful and memorable motherhood journey.”
Started with an initial capital of Rs 3 lakh and three products, The Mom Store has grown significantly in just one year, servicing 7,000+ customers across 700+ cities and towns in India.
“We have strived to achieve 99.99 percent serviceability across all pin codes of India by tying up with different logistics providers to ensure our reach can be maximised,” says Surbhi.
The startup is completely bootstrapped so far.
“In the next 5 years, we want to strengthen our brand, build our presence on all online marketplaces, have offline experience centres, as well as launch a mobile app to help a mother through information and products she needs in her motherhood journey. We are not just a product company, we also have a budding blogging portal where women share their motherhood stories and experiences,” adds Surbhi.
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Gurugram-based Momzjoy is a maternity and nursing fashion brand that empowers pregnant and breastfeeding mothers to make them feel confident, beautiful, and happy.
Founded by women engineers Kriti Baveja and Divya Gupta in November 2015, Momzjoy creates fashionable, functional, yet comfortable maternity and nursing wear that is designed to fit during and post-pregnancy and has concealed nursing access for easy breastfeeding.
Self-funded and sustainable, within three years of its launch, Momzjoy claims to have achieved commendable growth. The startup currently delivers worldwide and has made over 25,000+ mothers happy, including celebrities like Sania Mirza and Soha Ali Khan.
Momzjoy reaches more than half a million expectant mothers per month and has been awarded ‘National Entrepreneurship Award 2018’ by the Government of India.
Momzjoy is a ‘Make in India’ brand with all its products handcrafted at its in-house manufacturing unit. It offers more than 800 products which include maternity and nursing dresses, tops, kurtas, hospital gowns, nursing lingerie, maternity bottom wear, maternity swimwear, and nursing stoles. Momzjoy has also recently launched a variety of baby products, newborn clothes, and kidswear.
Founded in 2012 by Pankaj Vermani, Neha Kant, and Suman Chowdhury, Clovia's maternity collection includes feeding bras, stretchable panties, and range of nightwear including top and pyjama sets, and long and short nighties. Crafted from soft and breathable fabrics, the collection is designed for utmost comfort without compromising on style, and is ideal for moms-to-be and new lactating mothers.
“The collection is an amalgamation of comfort and fashion and is a wardrobe essential for every to-be and new mom. We have also introduced a range of cover-up kaftans so that mothers can nurse the baby in peace,” says Neha Kant, Co-Founder and CRO, Clovia.
The startup has patent-pending algorithms that help it gauge customer purchase patterns, and track post-purchase/usage feedback.
The Noida-based Clovia is a premier lingerie, loungewear, and activewear brand backed by Ivy Cap Ventures, Zurich-based Mountain Partners AG, and a group of private investors. The company sells its products through both multi-brand stores (offline and online) as well as exclusive ones, and through its website.
Today, Clovia is shipping almost 600,000 pieces of lingerie a month, ie, approximately one piece every five seconds.
“While Clovia continues to grow in the online space, we’re fast setting footprint in the offline retail as well, to ensure a pan India brand presence in all genres of our customer base. While we will continue on our journey to be the largest lingerie brand in the country, we are also expanding overseas. The idea is to continue the growth, accelerate both our online and offline channels with equal push. In the next five years, Clovia intends to be the largest lingerie brand in India,” Neha tells YourStory.
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Launched in February 2015 by Harvard Business School and McKinsey alumnus Naiyya Saggi, BabyChakra’s maternity collection includes tops and denim, dresses and gowns, swimwear and casuals.
The Mumbai-based startup has already tied up with 1,500 Indian and international brands across categories such as baby food products, apparel, personal care, health and nutrition. The firm has also listed over 23,000 verified services and products over 50 categories in Mumbai, Delhi, and Bengaluru, from health & wellness needs (like lactation consultation, pre and post-natal yoga, nutritionists, etc) to on-boarding event planners.
The firm had secured Series A funding from Round Glass Partners (Seattle) and seed funding from Mumbai Angels, Patni Family Office, and Singapore Angel Network.
In 2018, BabyChakra received its Series B funding from multiple investors including Mark Mobius and Rajesh Sehgal backed Equanimity Ventures Fund, Facebook Director Anand Chandrasekaran, OYO Chief Strategy Officer and ex-Lightspeed Ventures Investor Maninder Gulati, and Gideon Marks, a Silicon Valley tech investor, among others.
Along with the product marketplace, BabyChakra is a parenting platform connecting two million families on a monthly basis with experts and with each other through a mobile-first platform on the web and app to get relevant advice and help they need instantly.
The firm has plans to expand its footprint abroad very soon.
Today, 70 percent of the platform’s users come from Tier II and III towns in India, and users read more than 50 million content pieces (primarily generated by other users) monthly on the BabyChakra app.
“In the mom and baby care space, Indian parents spend an average of Rs 3,00,000 over 4-5 years of their initial years parenting. Hence, we strongly believe now is the right time for disruption,” the startup said in a statement.
Founded in 2015 by Tanvi Goenka Sekhsaria and Vishwanshu Agarwal, Mumbai-based Mystere Paris offers a range of maternity wear, including tops, dresses, shorts, track pants, etc.
Apart from its own website, the startup retails its maternity loungewear across marketplaces such as Myntra, Jabong, Flipkart, Tata Cliq, ShoppersStop, Flipkart, Amazon and FirstCry, among others.
“In terms of products, we use only soft natural fibres that maximise comfort. Most garments will have feeding access. Our garments are stylish and flattering because even during pregnancy women should feel and look great. Fits are extremely versatile so the garments can grow with your belly and serve you long after you have delivered,” says Tanvi.
Apart from maternity wear, Mystere Paris provides fashionable sleepwear and loungewear for the domestic market at price points from Rs 499 to Rs 1,999.
Mystere Paris is supported by Creative Garments, a well-established name in textiles in India, which is Vishwanshu’s main business. Vishwanshu completed his engineering from Purdue. Mystere Paris is his brainchild and he partnered with Tanvi, his cousin, to start and manage the brand. Tanvi did her undergrad from Stern School of Business, New York University, and an MBA from IIM Bangalore. After graduation, she worked as a management consultant at Booz and Company.
Last year, the startup had generated a revenue of Rs 3 crore.
“We are expecting maternity to be 10 percent of the revenue this year. We launched maternity only two seasons ago,” adds Tanvi.
(Edited by Evelyn Ratnakumar)