EDITIONS

Using a community-based model, this platform solves the concerns of expectant and new mothers

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Delhi-based Babygogo's parenting content is consumed in US, UK, UAE, Pakistan Three years ago, Siddhartha Ahluwalia (29), Satyadeep Karnati (25) and Sowrabh N.R.S. (25) all attended a startup conference in Delhi. The aim was to meet like-minded would-be entrepreneurs to start a healthcare company. Siddhartha happened to meet Sandeep and Sowrabh, who were friends, and fell into a serious conversation on the growing need for startups in the country that offered healthcare solutions. The discussion during the meetup went well, and the trio decided to take it forward. A few months later, a platform called Addodoc, created by the three, was on the table. The app was made for pediatricians, and compiled the records of patients. During this process, through their regular rounds with doctors, they got a glimpse of consumer demands from a different perspective.

The need for a community

In interactions with mothers at the doctor's office, they realised that many concerns brought to the pediatrician could have easily been solved by a like-minded community of moms. And this brought a new idea into play, which eventually led to the creation of a solution for mothers. In March 2016, the trio launched Babygogo, a community-based website and mobile app for expectant Indian mothers and those with children up to the age of three. The platform allows mothers to ask questions and get answers from other experienced mothers and doctors. It also provides many essential tips about parenting. “Through this venture, we aimed to shorten the gap between mothers who had parenting concerns, creating a community that could assist them in tackling such issues.  Babygogo is a platform for moms to post their queries and get answers from other moms,” says Siddhartha.

How does it work?

Siddhartha explains that when a mother asks a question, the moms currently active on Babygogo are able to view this question on the news feed presented to them when they open the app. If one has had experience with such a concern, she would ideally answer the query. If it takes a while for a response to come in, there are similar questions and articles presented to the mother who asked the question as suggested posts, so that she can get an idea on how to deal with her concern. Another facet of the app is that medical queries are addressed in-app by specialist doctors in various fields of child and maternal healthcare. Parents can also upload medical documents, review vaccination charts, and update growth charts, making this app a one-stop location for all things relating to their little ones. The platform is currently available in English, with plans in the works to take it vernacular as well by introducing content in Hindi and Marathi.

Rising figures

“It's going to be one year since the launch of the platform, and we are happy with the result,” says Siddhartha. The platform claims to have achieved over 97,000 installs in the past year, and to have 16,000 active daily users. The team says that users from countries like India, the US, Pakistan, the UK and the UAE are consuming content on the platform. Babygogo  works on search engine optimisation and app store optimisation. When it comes to social media, the company is active on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest. Through these channels, it reaches more than one million mothers every week. “The increase in our social media influence is further contributing to our organic growth.  We are still discovering various ways to optimise our organic growth. We aim to increase our social media reach fivefold by the end of 2017,” says Siddhartha.

Investor validation

According to Siddhartha, they are currently monetising by working with various babycare brands in integrating brand stories. In the next three months, they aim to be operationally profitable. During January this year, the platform also received a seed investment to the tune of $300,000 from a consortium of angel investors including Rajul Garg, Aniruddha Malpani, Daljit Singh, Dr. Kishore Kumar, Spice Mobility and a few others. “We are presently in talks with various investors for our next round of funding,” says Siddhartha.

Market eyes babycare

According to a report titled Maternity and Child Care (MCC) Hospitals Market in India 2015 – 2020 released by Novonous, the MCC hospitals market in India is expected to be worth $27.63 billion by 2020. In the content segment, there are various companies that have found their niche and offer different solutions in the parenting-kid segment. From parenting to consultation on child health issues to creating awareness of child mental illness to education and other areas, there are various apps in the market, each catering to different needs of parents via technology. In this segment, Babychakra, Tinystep, ZenParent, Parentlane and Parentune, among others, are the platforms that are targeting the babycare market. During October last year, BabyChakra, a social discovery platform for young parents in India, had raised Series-A funding from Seattle-based RoundGlass. The company had earlier raised a $600,000 funding led by Mumbai Angles, Patni Family Office and Singapore Angel Network in June 2015. Bengaluru-based ZenParent, meanwhile, is funded by Venture Factory (by i2india). Experts say that with the children's products and services market in India exceeding $20 billion, growing at a CAGR of at least 20 percent, and parents discovering such services (parenting tips), making online bookings and comparing baby products, startups in this domain are very bullish about future growth. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bl3KpSyPzN0&feature=youtu.be Video Credits: Camera person: Manoj Upadhyaya Video Editor: Anand Production Assistant: Vincent Arthur Website

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