IRVINE, Calif., Nov. 4, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Huckleberry, an app that pairs data science, pediatric sleep experts, and AI to help navigate parenting challenges, has raised $12.5 million in Series A funding led by Morningside Ventures alongside existing investors Spero Ventures and Tamarisc VC. The financing brings Huckleberry's fundraising total to $16 million and allows the company to broaden its data-driven reach in making health and wellness accessible to all families, particularly in developmental areas such as sleep, feedings, and tantrums.
The American Academy of Pediatrics estimates that sleep problems affect 25-50 percent of children and research has shown the critical role that sleep plays in laying the foundation of a baby's future, particularly with cognitive and motor skill development. Jessica Toh, co-founder and CEO, experienced firsthand how lack of sleep can affect well being after her first child woke up every 2–3 hours for the first 20 months. Not only is adjusting to a newborn's sleep pattern difficult, but the National Sleep Foundation has found that 76 percent of parents of children ages 0-10 would like to improve something about their child's sleep.
"Family wellbeing as a whole can be envisioned as a line of dominoes. First, a cranky and tired child, then an outburst, an overworked parent who loses their temper, and then an escalated situation with a cycle of emotional fatigue and strain on relationships and work. By helping with sleep, and expanding how we support parents, we can break the chain reaction," said Jessica Toh, co-founder and CEO of Huckleberry.
Huckleberry combines AI with human experts to provide hyper-personalized, yet scalable, guidance for families across the globe. Families also benefit from the SweetSpotⓇ feature, the world's first real-time predictive algorithm that analyzes the individual child's sleep patterns, as well as hundreds of millions of data points collected around the world, to predict the next optimal nap time.
"Huckleberry has shown that the combination of machine learning and pediatric expertise applied to early childhood development results in simple, effective tools that positively impact both children and caregivers," said Stephen Bruso of Morningside Ventures. "The phenomenal growth they have seen is a further validation of the value they are creating for the entire caregiving ecosystem, and we are excited to partner with them as they continue to scale and expand their platform."
The Huckleberry app has served 1.2 million families across 179 countries and maintained a 4.9 star rating with over 40,000 reviews on the Apple App Store. The app ranked #1 in the iOS medical category in multiple countries and has grown exponentially across Canada and the UK with the majority of consumers located in the US. Up to ninety-three percent of families who use Huckleberry report improvement to their child's sleep.
"We've taken very intentional steps to create a human-centered design approach that does not contribute to additional stress and anxiety for new parents. Technology can unfortunately make it easy to get addicted to checking, tracking, and comparing so we purposely do not offer competitive features like "winning streaks" and seek to empower parents to feel at ease to use it in a way that fits their lifestyle," continued Toh.
Families can often spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars on pediatric sleep consultants, a costly model that only supports a select class of parents. To combat this, Huckleberry offers a free model, in addition to paid plans that start at less than $5 a month. And with the increased mental and financial strain on families during the pandemic, Huckleberry found it even more crucial to help families solve access gaps. They introduced a "pay what you can" program in early 2021 and have given away nearly 4,000 subscriptions since the company's inception. Overall, Huckleberry's personalized solution has reduced the cost to families by 90 percent.
In the coming year, the company will expand its team with key hires across engineering, marketing, and product development and continue research and development into categories like tantrums, sleep and language, screen time and more. Additional registered dieticians, developmental psychologists, neonatal nurses and doctors will also continue to serve as trusted sources to the team and its customers.
Huckleberry is an app that pairs data science, pediatric sleep experts, and AI to provide accessible, expert advice to every family. The company has served 1.2 million families across the globe with custom sleep guidance, maintained a 4.9 star rating on the Apple App Store, and raised $16 million in venture capital funding from Morningside Ventures, Spero Ventures, and Tamarisc Ventures. The company launched in 2017 by Seng and Jessica Toh after their own experiences of sleepless nights with their firstborn child. For more information, please visit https://huckleberrycare.com/ or follow on Instagram @huckleberrycare.