Expectant mothers can be intimidating, as can the motherhood of an infant or child. The answers don’t come automatically, and while there’s no shortage of books and websites (and grandparent advice) on how to give birth at every stage, finding satisfying information often proves to be a lot harder than one imagines.
There are online social groups that provide some of the social and emotional support that new parents need, no matter where they live. For example, there are many dozens of mom communities on Facebook. However, this is because there is room to improve on this topic – large groups may feel isolated, and there is an abundance of bad information — that Oath Care, a young four-member start-up company based in San Francisco, has just raised 2 million dollars of funding from XYZ Ventures, General Catalyst, and Eros Resmini, former CEO of Discord and managing partner of the Mini Fund.
What is he building? Founder Camilla Hermann describes it as a subscription-based mobile app that focuses on improving the lives of new mothers by combining parents with a lot in common with health professionals and moderators who can lead them in group chats as well as one-on-one video calls.
Specifically, she says, for $ 20 a month, Oath matches pregnant women and midwives in circles up to 10 based on factors such as pregnancy stage, child age, location and career so they can ask each other questions with the help of a trained moderator (who is sometimes a mother). with older children).
Oath also pushes the curriculum that Oath’s team develops in-house to its members based on the specific needs of each group. Last but not least, each group is given a collective approach to medical professionals who can answer general questions as part of members ’subscriptions and who are also available for consultation when individualized help is needed.
Hermann says the cost of these 15-minute consultations is still evolving, but that medical professionals they already work with see the app as a form of lead generation.
It’s an interesting concept, which could move in a multitude of directions, admits Hermann who says she was inspired to start the company based on earlier work on developing contact-finding technology created to track Ebola-like epidemics in real time.
As she said yesterday during Zoom’s call with TechCrunch and its co-founder Michelle Stephens, a pediatric clinician and research scientist: “We basically misunderstand something really important about health in the West; we think that [changes] it happens to one person at once or one part of the body, but it always happens in interconnected systems both inside and outside the body, which basically means that it always happens in the community. “
For her part, Stephens – who met Hermann at a dinner a few years ago – says her motivation in founding Oath was born from researching childhood stress, and that “better equipping parents to be those positive and consistent caregivers of a child’s life,” The oath aims to enable stronger, closer ties between the child and the parents.
It may sound great for a mobile app, but it also sounds like a smart starting point. Although the idea is initially to bring mothers together in similar situations to strengthen their health and the health of their children, it is easy to imagine that the platform develops in a way that brings parents together in numerous interest groups, from preschool applications to autism to them – sexual parenting . It’s easy to see a platform that helps sell products that parents need. It’s easy to imagine a company piling up a bunch of valuable information.
In fact, Hermann says, Oath’s long-term vision is to create rich datasets that he hopes can be used to improve health outcomes, including earlier identification of health problems. In this regard, it also hopes to build relationships with health systems and payers to increase access to its products.
For now, Oath is mostly trying to keep up with demand. Hermann says the “small and naughty” company found its first 50 users via Facebook ads, and that the database quickly tripled before Oath was forced to create a growing waiting list for what had been a closed beta until now. (Oath “predicts a full launch in late summer,” Stephens says.)
That doesn’t mean the company isn’t thinking about the next steps at all.
Although the laser is currently focused on creating an exceptional experience for this specific group of users in this particular time period of their lives, says Hermann, after building many more communities of small trusted groups with “great commitment and great trust,” there is a lot you can agree on top of everything. It is almost unlimited. “