No kidding: Investors game for children-centric start-ups

Virendra Pandit | | Updated on: Feb 16, 2018

See growth driven by increasing needs of new and expecting parents with deep pockets

Start-ups catering to the needs of young children and their parents have been witnessing incresed investor interest since the end of 2017.

In December 2017, Flintobox and Baby Destination, raised $7 million (₹44.78 crore) and $312,000 (₹2 crore), respectively. A few other start-ups also raised funds in 2017 and more are on the radar of investors this year.

The reason for this sudden spurt in interest is said to be the 2016-17 meltdown in servicing and other start-up ecosystems due to saturation and consolidation, and the increasing needs of new and expecting parents with deep pockets, who are meticulously planning for the next generation.

Urban millennial parents strapped for time are emerging big spenders on children’s products and services, a lucrative market for start-ups. A new segment of start-ups is simultaneously gauging the interests of kids and their parents. Logically, investors are also eyeing the niche segment for kids-oriented start-ups due to burgeoning demand and response among stakeholders, experts say.

“Parents want meaningful content for their kids, and to unhook them from TV and gadgets,” Vijaybabu Gandhi, co-founder, Flintobox, founded in 2013, told BusinessLine .

The start-up, which currently couriers 40,000 kids’ activity kits across 600 towns and cities every month, is looking to double its subscription-based clientele this year. “We currently have 400,000 paying parents as our subscribers who want to meaningfully engage their children.”

Apart from parents, Flintobox also has over 350 pre-schools as subscribers, and is looking to double this number, too, across 60-70 towns and cities, including tier I and II ones, he said.

Increasingly, Indian parents are trying to shift their kids’ attention from gadgets and tutorials to meaningful development during their formative years.

Prashant Mehta, Partner, Lightbox, said the venture-capital firm’s decision to invest in Flintobox was encouraged by the “positive feedback” from parents.

New Delhi-based online maternity and parenting lifestyle management start-up Baby Destination raised funding from GEMs Partners and Tariq Khan, an angel investor based in New York. “We have 100,000 moms in our community,” said Tamanna Dhamija, who, together with her husband Tarun, founded the start-up in 2016.

Kids’ content start-up Kinsane Entertainment also raised $2.5 million (₹16 crore) from angel investors. The digital entertainment company plans to launch eight new shows, 100 games and 30 new characters this year for kids aged 2-11 years, in different languages. Another start-up, The Moms Co, raised $1 million (₹6.4 crore).

Published on February 15, 2018
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