India: Online parenting platform BabyChakra raises funds  from  Mark Mobius, others

Mark Mobius

Online parenting platform BabyChakra has raised an undisclosed amount in its pre-Series-B round from several investors, including Mark Mobius and Facebook director Anand Chandrasekaran.

The website offers pregnancy tips and parenting advice, and acts as a forum for parents to interact and exchange information. It currently has two million monthly users with 70% of them coming from Tier 2 and Tier 3 towns, said Naiyya Saggi, founder and chief executive at BabyChakra.

The start-up will use funds to broaden the website’s language and region-specific content and enhance integration in the maternity and healthcare ecosystem.

“Our platform is based on machine learning and it shows a different page to each user depending on the user’s interests. The new funds will be invested in technology to broaden this aspect,” said Saggi in a telephonic interaction.

Other investors who participated in the new round include OYO chief strategy officer Maninder Gulati; Equanimity Investments founder Rajesh Sehgal; Gideon Marks, a Silicon Valley investor; Eitan Toledo, senior director at Apple; Mandar Vaidya, former head of healthcare practice for McKinsey India; and B. Ravishankar, former chief human resources officer, HCL Technologies.

Existing investors Arihant Patni, Artha Ventures and Bharat Rawla also participated in the round.

“I have worked and invested in numerous startups in my career, some of which went public and some 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,” said Gideon Marks.

This is the third round of funding for the start-up. Previously, it raised its Series-A funding from RoundGlass Partners, a digital health investor, and seed funding from Mumbai Angels, Patni Family Office and Singapore Angel Network.

BabyChakra expects its user base to grow about 5-10 times to touch about 10-15 million users by the end of FY19. “India’s offline baby care market stands at $30 billion, with the online space doubling every year,” said Saggi. BabyChakra has partnered with major pharmaceutical brands including Johnson and Johnson, Sanofi, Cipla and Abbott, she added.

The start-up is also engaged in discussions for raising its Series B round of funding, said Saggi.

This article was first published on livemint.com