Mumbai-based online parenting platform Babychakra has raised an undisclosed amount of fresh funding from a group of senior corporate leads.
The list includes Equanimity Ventures Fund, backed by Mark Mobius and Rajesh Sehgal; Facebook director Anand Chandrasekaran; OYO chief strategy officer and ex-Lightspeed Ventures investor Maninder Gulati; and Gideon Marks, a Silicon Valley tech investor credited with three NASDAQ public offerings.
Other participants in this round were the company’s mentor at this year’s Google Launchpad Accelerator, Eitan Toleda, a senior director at Apple; Dr Mandar Vaidya, former head of healthcare practice at McKinsey India; and B Ravishankar, former chief HR officer at HCL Technologies. Existing investors Arihant Patni, Artha Ventures, and Bharat Rawla also participated in the funding round.
This is the third round of funding for the company. Babychakra earlier secured Series A funding from RoundGlass Partners — which is focussed on digital health — in October 2016 and Seed funding from Mumbai Angels, the Patni Family Office, and the Singapore Angel Network in June 2015.
BabyChakra: Taking Giant Steps Towards Success
Launched in February 2015 by Harvard Business School and McKinsey alumnus Naiyya Saggi, BabyChakra is a leading online parenting platform in India. It claims to connect 2 Mn families on a monthly basis with experts and with each other through a mobile-first platform on web and app.
The fresh capital will be used to further strengthen BabyChakra’s region- and language-specific content and communities and deepen personalisation on the product platform. The funding will also help the startup facilitate broader integrations in the maternity and childcare ecosystem.
Naiyya Saggi, founder & CEO, BabyChakra said, “Today, we serve a pressing need for India: more than 70% of our users are families in Tier 2, 3 towns in India, who use us in 10 languages to make critical health and wellness decisions for mothers and children.”
This year, the platform aims to support over 20 Mn families annually.
Here are some key metrics of BabyChakra:
- 70% of the platform’s users come from Tier 2 and 3 towns in India
- Users read more than 50 Mn content pieces (primarily generated by other users) monthly on the BabyChakra app
- 85% of all conversations on BabyChakra are focussed on health, wellness, and nutrition
- The platform lists more than 23,000 verified services and 12,000 products across 50 categories
- It was selected to represent India at the Google Global Launchpad Accelerator that took place in February this year
- BabyChakra is also part of the NITI Ayog Working Committee on Maternal and Child Health
Working Towards Shared Goals And Solving Real Problems
According to Rajesh Sehgal, managing director, Equanimity Ventures Fund, in today’s time-constrained world characterised by modern-day, hectic lifestyles, young parents are more motivated than ever to provide the best for their children. Improved digital access is facilitating communities of parents with shared goals to come together online to help solve each other’s problems.
BabyChakra provides both user-generated content (UGC) and expert-generated content (EGC) through a unique intelligent interface which ensures that parents get relevant advice and the help they need instantly.
The interface is multilingual and heavily visual to cut across literacy levels and aims to serve the next half a billion Internet users.
Gideon Marks, Silicon Valley Investor and Google Mentor to BabyChakra, said, “I have worked and invested in numerous startups in my career, some of which went public and some (got) acquired. In BabyChakra, I identified very similar characteristics to those I saw in those companies. Great passionate leadership and team, solving a real problem, creating a habit-forming product and addressing a huge market in India”.
Of late, many players have joined the online parenting bandwagon to explore this niche segment. Other notable players operational in this segment are Parentlane, Tinystep, BabyBerry, Healofy, etc.
Recently, Healofy raised a $1 Mn funding round. Prior to that, in January 2017, Bengaluru-based parenting-focussed social network Tinystep raised $2 Mn funding from ecommerce giant, Flipkart. This indicates the increasing inclination of investors towards startups catering to solving real problems by creating online communities at a mass level.