This Startup is a buddy for couple who are expecting to have their first baby.
26th, June 2018 - My journey
Whether you are a first-time parent-to-be or parenting expert, pregnancy often throws up a million and one questions. Much time it is exciting and happy moments but there are some time with pain and disturbed moment women goes through. PregBuddy is a outcome of one of such event and this startup is a savior for many people now.
We, Startupsjourney interviewed the PregBuddy team and here is their story.
S J: Please share the PregBuddy team’s founder’s profile.
P B: PregBuddy is founded by two passionate IITians: Subhadeep Mondal & Sivareena in 2016.
Sivareena hails from Visakhapatnam but has grown up in various parts of India, thanks to her dad being in Indian Navy. During her college days, she has worked on 2 global projects at PepisCo’s Global Innovation division. She also co-founded Public Relations Cell, along with Subhadeep, where they increased the digital outreach of IIT Kharagpur to over 10Mn students globally. She has been an active contributor to social cause at AIESEC where she led 3 community development projects in the rural villages across 3 states in India. She started her career at Furlenco heading their supply chain and operations. During her tenure, she helped them grow 2x in annual turnover and expanded them to 4 metro cities.
Subhadeep has been born & brought in West Bengal. He, holds a degree in BioTechnology from IIT Kharagpur, and his family has been in the medical field. Before building PregBuddy, he has built Flixstreet along with Harvard grad in his college days. He scaled his platform to 30,000 users before he graduated and joined Gaana.com. He led the product side at Gaana which saw a growth of 200% during his tenure before he joined SignEasy. He was instrumental in SignEasy’s growth where they got featured at Google Play Store, in Apple TV commercials and pre-installed in all devices at Apple retail stores globally.
S J: Can you elaborate the moment that made you to start Pregbuddy?
P B: We started PregBuddy when one of my one of cousin underwent a miscarriage in her 4th month of her pregnancy. Her entire family went through a period of mental distress. This is when we started working on this domain. As none of us were parents, we met 200-250 expecting mothers at hospitals in front of gynaecologist chambers. We connected them together on WhatsApp over a group, let it run for 5 months and observed what kind of support they were seeking from each other. We didn’t write a single piece of code until the WhatsApp group was crossing 100,000 conversations a month, we decided to go full time and build PregBuddy.
S J: How is your journey as an Entrepreneur?
P B:Our journey has been a rollercoaster ride but very satisfying. We have ups and downs and moments when we had no clue about how things had to be done. But we never gave up, we learnt, we figured it out, and pushed ourselves forward.
Entrepreneurship in itself comes with a indefinite set of challenges like hiring the right team, getting the right investors, onboarding more customers and more. It becomes a lonely journey until you find right cofounders, right mentors and constant peer to peer support who make this journey easier.
Thankfully, we’ve been able to build a strong network in the startup community. When me and my team started getting recognized by Google, Facebook, NASSCOM etc, we got connected to more and more communities of entrepreneurs. These network helped us build our business, our team, onboard the best angel investors and advisors and get access to resources from Google & Facebook.
S J: Please Explain PreBuddy and how does benefit the users.
P B: PregBuddy is the first peer-to-peer instant reassurance platform for expecting mothers. We connect them based on their location, trimester, vernacular language, region and past medical conditions. Apart from that, each mother gets personalized information, in English and Hindi, for all the 40 weeks of pregnancy.
S J: You claim to served more than 60,000 users, can you share the user experience and challenges you have faced?
P B: Every day we have at least 100 mothers who are delivering their babies after using PregBuddy. We get emails from our users sharing their photographs with their babies, thanking us for being an amazing buddy for them throughout their pregnancy. This is the most gratifying feeling for all of us. We’ve grown organically to over 60K expecting mothers and over 5Mn conversations.
Google selected us for their first cohort of Solve for India and its Launchpad Build program. We’ve been awarded by actor Akshay Kumar, Asian Business Angel Forum, Economic Times & Government of India for our work so far.
One incident which we always cherish: Few months back, an expecting mother used PregBuddy from her delivery bed during her 12 hour long labour. She reached out to our community and got constant peer emotional support throughout her labour. She delivered a healthy baby and was thankful to our community and PregBuddy for the support and reassurance. This was a very gratifying moment for me.
S J: Recently you have raised Angel Investment from well know investors. Can you share the details – How much money you have raised and where it is planned to utilize the fund.
P B: PregBuddy recently closed a round with Rajan Anandan (MD Google India & VP South-East Asia), Jayant Kadambi (Ex-Chairman of YuMe, LP for US & India Venture Funds), Madhu Kannan (CBO of Uber India), Puneet Gupt (COO Digital News of Times Internet Limited), Pradeep JaiSingh (Chairman of HealthStart) and Indian Angel Network.
We’ll use this investment round to expand our team and scale up our platform. We’re actively looking to hire few passionate people in fields of marketing and business development who will join our core-team and work closely with the cofounders and grow along with us.
S J: Healthcare is boomed with many players. How do you manage the competition?
P B: Healthcare - technology in India is pretty much at its nascent stage. In other industries, a lot of experimentation has been done. But the healthcare segment is at a very early stage for adopting newer technology. So a lot of us are trying to make the lives of people & care providers easier, smarter & efficient. Even in the hospital, there are so many things that can be improved to make things faster and effective. I strongly believe that when you have the strong backing of all the primary research data & insights which led to building your product, you’ll do best in your offering.
S J: Please share PregBuddy’s future vision and plans.
P B: I’m extremely positive about the technological impact on the Indian healthcare system. With PregBuddy, we aim to improve the lives of over 10Mn mothers throughout their journey of motherhood by 2020.
S J: Share your quote – on Entrepreneurship
P B: I truly believe in “grabbing an opportunity which is difficult to recreate in future”. Life keeps giving you options, some are easy to decide and some makes you think about what you really want to be. Choosing the path which you think is difficult to get again will help you stay on your toes and work harder to be better.
While starting up, a mantra that helps me get going is “to be bold & ask”. The worse outcome would be a no. The startup ecosystem is so mature that everyone in this journey understands the challenges and are open to help. One cannot be an expert in all fields and the gaps is filled in by asking this network.
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