Parents feel more and more comfortable using digital platforms and devices while taking care of their children. The family tech sector perfectly recognizes the needs and struggles of young families and is working hard to take parenting to the next digital level and give families more room for quality time together.
The family tech sector shouldn’t be perceived as only digital device production, even though the baby monitor market alone is estimated to reach almost $2 billion worldwide in 2027. Startups in the baby industry offer young parents so much more. They create advanced solutions around childcare, kids’ food, or parent communities.
In Europe, the startups supporting parents, helping to make their lives that bit easier, are growing. Here, we take a look at some of the ones we think are going to have an exciting future.
myTamarin: Founded in 2017 in London, myTamarin offers a psychology AI matching service to help parents find newborn support and nannies. Childcare helpers are matched with families based on specific criteria such as experiences, lifestyle, parenting style, family values, and personality compatibility. Because of the team’s careful attention to matching criteria, the placements typically last 2-3x longer than in traditional nanny agencies. The team also provides training and advice for nannies with its myTamarin Academy. Both nannies and families have access to the platform which makes all the processes easier, including the vetting, recruitment, and onboarding, as well as HMRC (tax) compliance, payroll, pension, payments, and legal stuff.
Koru Kids: This London-based startup’s platform finds and manages childcare provided by part-time nannies and childminders. Koru Kids’ team is responsible for selection and training, and if an applicant is selected, they are trained in first aid, educational philosophies, homework, or how to ensure safety at home. According to press material, the company accepts less than 6% of submissions. The nannies provide childcare with a growth mindset to make sure they help kids flourish even more during their time together. Koru Kids enables families to even share nannies — kids can be looked after at the same time by the same nanny with less payment. In 2019, Koru Kids raised £10 million in a Series A round led by Atomico.
toddl.co: The Barcelona-based company is a software solution to help providers of kids’ activities streamline their day-to-day operations. Activity organizers and small education businesses can register on the platform to manage admin tasks, such as scheduling, bookings and customer management. It also gives them the opportunity to reach new customers as the solution is fully integrated with the toddl.co marketplace. Via the platform, parents and users can navigate up-to-date offers for classes, camps, and events for children. The online catalogue is organized by interest, age range, and region. Parents can create a profile in toddl.co and with customized recommendations, select events for their kids. toddl.co was started during the pandemic by Stephanie Meagher and Lorin May.
Readmio: Born in Prague in 2019, Readmio is based on the nostalgia of your loved ones telling you bedtime stories when you were growing up, the idea of their mobile app might sound simple. By using storytelling, the company aims at helping parents spend more quality and bonding time with their small humans. The Readmio team works with experts to ensure parents that all stories in its app support children’s mental development, foster their imagination, and instil humanity. While reading, the voice recognition technology incorporated into the app, adds suitable sounds like water splashing or singing birds to make the stories even more engaging for kids. The app users can select from 350 tales in Czech and Slovak and over 250 in English. To date, the app has been downloaded by more than 300,000 people and they have spent more than 80,000 hours using it. In 2023, the startup secured €1 million in a round led by Zero Gravity Capital, with the participation of DEPO Ventures.
Yamo: Founded in 2016 in Zug, Switzerland, Yamo offers organic food products that help parents vary their kids’ diet – without stress or a guilty conscience. The product portfolio includes organic and plant-based baby food purees and healthy snacks which are free from sugar, concentrates, or any other artificial or highly processed ingredients. Yamo’s food tastes homemade thanks to using the HPP method that ensures their products retain the original colour, taste, and vitamins of all the ingredients. As the company declares, they don’t compromise on authenticity. They only use low-processed fruits and vegetables to protect taste and nutrients and, in this way, help parents raise healthy children. Consumers can buy Yamo products online or at major retailers in large parts of Europe.
Peanut: The London-based company positions itself as a safe space for women to connect whether it is about fertility, pregnancy, motherhood, or menopause. Peanut is a community platform where users listen and share knowledge and advice, or just talk about things. The platform was initially a tool for finding new mom friends, however, in 2020 evolved into a social network used by 1.6 million women. The app uses a well-known swipe-based mechanism for matching users. The team has a goal to create the next generation of social networks built on the principles of care, empathy, and collectivism. In 2020, the company announced its $12 million Series A round of funding, led by EQT Ventures.
GroGro: Founded in 2018, GroGro is located in Greater Oslo, Norway. Malin Bruste, the founder and CEO, and her team believe that all kids deserve healthy food which isn’t older than they are. That’s why the company offers products made with high-quality, natural ingredients (whole bites of fruits, vegetables, grains, and spices which are mixed). The company is so transparent about its recipes and product ingredients, it produces videos showing how to replicate them at home. GroGro’s meals are cold-pressed to preserve freshness for up to two months and are sold in pouches. As Bruste said, “All products are milk-free and vegan and have been certified by Klimato as having a very low climate impact (0,1 Co2e/kg). In addition, we have reduced plastic use by 56% in each pouch by removing the spout.” GroGro closed its €500k convertible loan at the end of 2022.
Nosso: Fintech startup Nosso is helping parents to plan and invest for their children’s financial future. Founded by Youssef Darwich and Sigurjon Isaksson in 2020, the Nosso app allows parents to open up Junior stocks & shares ISAs and General Investment Accounts and select investments from a range of ETFs managed by BlackRock. The app offers children investment accounts that two parents can track, manage and contribute to, together. The app also goes one step further by providing each user with a unique contribution link that they can share with anyone. This allows grandparents (as well as other family and friends) to contribute directly and seamlessly with no additional paperwork or even the need to open a Nosso account. In 2022, the London-based company secured €2.5 million to grow.
Famly: Based in Copenhagen, Famly gives parents a social feed to get photos and updates about their child’s day while helping childcare centres with managing the endless admin tasks involved in running their business. An all-in-one SaaS platform for early childhood education centres, Famly saves teachers and administrators time on their back-office work and helps them communicate with parents, which translates into more quality education for the children. Founded by Anders Laustsen and Henrik Møller Rasmussen, the edtech startup currently works with 3,500 early education sites across the UK, Germany, Scandinavia, and the US, has over 400k parent users, and 63k educational staff users. Famly’s platform gives parents a social media-style news feed with highlights from the day, as well as a place to message and collaborate with their children’s teachers to help them continue their education at home. Meanwhile, billing in the app makes paying tuition quicker and more secure. The team secured €15.9 million to boost its mission in 2021.
YoungPlanet: Launched in 2019 in the UK, YoungPlanet provides a cashless platform based on a sharing economy model, where parents can list or request a range of different children’s items, from books and clothes to toys and baby equipment. Everything on the app is always given or received for free. The company has seen 130,000+ parents sign up so far. The startup was founded by parents to address the inherent waste, product obsolescence and cost of raising children as well as to help declutter modern homes and keep things out of landfill. It began as a family project and has since grown into a community platform that combines transactional functionality with sharing economy principles. It secured around €586K through what it called an ‘Equity for Parents’ crowdfunding campaign in 2021.
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