1 March 2016
What inspired you to start Baby2Body?
The idea of Baby2Body was born way back in 1994, when I was pregnant with my first child and seeking a way to myself keep healthy and fit during pregnancy, I realized that there were no resources to access vital information or classes to attend. I recognized that there was a huge market gap for advice and guidance during pregnancy and that a lot of the advice that I would get from midwives was based on anecdotes and personal opinions. That’s when I launched a service-based business that operated in the greater London area, helping women to stay fit while pregnant and get back in shape quickly after birth.
I had great success with local circles, but over time, I realized that the gap in this space was large and needed to be addressed on a wider scale. What’s more, is that it was a sector that had yet to be exposed to, and truly changed by innovation. I realized that in order to scale my business and really make a difference in the lives of women around the world, I had to go digital and expand the content offering to cover the entire gamut of healthy living during the motherhood journey. With this vision, I launched the Baby2Body app in early 2015. We are the first company to address maternal wellbeing in the United Kingdom with a holistic approach which is represented by our content buckets – fitness, nutrition, psychological wellbeing, and beauty.
Was it difficult starting a business in tech?
I realized early on that I wanted to bring something new to a space that was yet to be fully exploited by digitization. Although I wasn’t a coder, I had the domain expertise, grip on the market need and the vision of leveraging tech to make a typically non-tech experience even better by delivering valuable and personalized content to every expecting mother across the globe. Once this was clear, I set about to work with advisors and technology consultants who helped me get it right.
What is it like to manage a start-up and a family?
I think it’s really important to be organized and to set priorities. It is easy to get caught up with e-mails and admin, but its more important to set the boundaries, so that you have quality time to spend with your children. This makes your life easier and less stressful, and a lot more rewarding at home and at work.
How was your experience of securing funding for Baby2Body, especially in the competitive environment of London?
I can’t say it was easy, but being in London really helped in connecting with the right people. London provides numerous opportunities to meet with diverse groups of angels, VC’s, accelerators and who can help you grow your business. I made the most of this opportunity by networking amongst these groups and managed to find the right investors for my business who believe in my vision and have added significant value in our growth strategy.
What worked in our favor was that Baby2Body had gained significant traction and concept validation from our 120,000+ users. My advice would be to plan fundraising way ahead of when you need to, and also, decide on what route you are going to take early on e.g crowd funding, angels or VC’, and then learn everything you can about fundraising in that way.
Another thing that matters the most is – to get your story right, what problem you are trying to solve, why you are best placed to success, what your traction has been so far etc. Once you can tell your story in a really succinct way – you are well on your way to getting funding.
What has been your most valuable learning experience in this journey?
Honestly, there have been so many, it’s hard to pick just one. I think one of the biggest things for me was learning how to tell the story of Baby2Body. At this point in owning a business, you know your own story so well that it can become difficult to make everyone around understand it as fully as you – because you live and breathe it every day, and it’s a part of who you are.
But one day when I was speaking with an advisor, he pushed me to succinctly explain the what, the why, and the how of Baby2Body. That day I nailed down the absolute vision of the company – to help mothers live happier and healthier for themselves – because when they can do that, they’ll have happier, healthier babies. I learned how to tell the story in such a way that everyone else around me wanted to get on board – and when you can do that, that’s when you know you’ve built something valuable.
What is one of the most challenging or tricky aspects of running your own business?
I think the most challenging aspect for me has been learning how to maintain my focus and keep it razor sharp, not letting myself get sidetracked or distracted by the big picture ideas that I want to come to life as soon as possible. It’s coming to terms with the fact that you have to put certain projects on pause while you push others forward in order to do what’s best for the business at the time. So there are these big dreams that I have for Baby2Body and I can see amazing opportunities along the way, but it’s all about being smart in knowing what to push forward, what to put on hold, and where to direct resources so you can get to those big ideas later on.