Children have suddenly grown into the biggest asset for entrepreneurs and investors to lay their bet on. The babycare-kids segment presents a huge gamut of potential right from the prenatal stage to newborn and babycare, toddlers and pre-schoolers, K-12 segment, and early and late teens; and includes products, services, innovative digital offerings and solutions, and parenting advice. Being welcoming of almost any and every product or service has provided entrepreneurs with a blank cheque to experiment and provide new solutions and re-shape existing offerings to suit the evolving needs of customers. “Unlike other segments, babycare and the children’s sector accommodates countless start-ups that have either an online or offline thrust. The segment is so vast that any prospective entrepreneur with even a germ of an idea and capital support can contemplate
putting together a venture,” say investors.
Says Prashant Mehta, partner, Lightbox, a venture capital firm, “The kid’s investment segment presents a huge opportunity in India. There are over 200 million kids in the country and the number is growing by 25 million each year. From better early childhood education to healthier food options, this age segment is greatly underserved due to lack of investment and access to quality products.” Experts state the growth in the number of smartphone users in India and the trend to shop and seek advice online is having a direct positive bearing on babycare and kids start-ups.
As per estimates by industry body Assocham and Deloitte, the digital commerce space in India is expected to zoom to over $50 billion by 2018, up from $38.5 billion in 2017. While simultaneously, the number of smartphone users is also on the increase. The US-based agency Zenith reports that India will have 530 million smartphone users by 2018. While the number of mobile users is much higher, estimates suggest two out of three will upgrade to smartphones by this year-end. And the increased usage of smart devices implies greater and more frequent contact between brands, marketers and consumers; and a channel through which entrepreneurs can also peddle their ware. “Start-ups in the kid’s space can expand their offering of products and services and simultaneously tap into newer markets due to an increase in smartphone penetration,” say experts.
“The internet using generation has increased by leaps and bounds. This coupled with the e-commerce boom has helped kids start-ups tremendously,” says Arunprasad Durairaj, CEO and co-founder of Flintobox, which designs activity boxes for children that aid
in child development through a fun and explorative way.
According to Naiyya Saggi, founder and CEO of parenting platform BabyChakra, mothers influence a majority of consumption decisions (especially related to children), and there are over 45 million mothers who are online today. “Mothers resort to the internet
for finding answers for everything. And this segment further boosts prospects for start-ups.” With Indian parents spending an average Rs 2.53 lakh over the first four to five years of their child’s life, the market is indeed lucrative enough for all types of start-ups who now seek to grow and expand.
Little Tags, which deals with luxury and designer wear for children, now plans on adding luxury watches and athleisure outfits to its portfolio. According to founder Chandni Agarwal, the aim is to provide consumers with maximum choice. “We want to be a
one-stop shop for all designer kids wear. Be it apparel, accessories, shoes, jewellery, etc. We also plan on engaging with about 100 designers by next year.”
Momspresso, a multi-lingual content platform for mothers, plans to grow its revenues from about Rs 15 crore in FY18 to Rs150 crores by FY21, “on the back of growing online ad spends and the targeting of a larger pool of women-centric brands,” says co-founder
and CEO Vishal Gupta. “We also aim to grow our user base from 7.5 million monthly visits to 75 million monthly visits in three years.”