India's parenting social network Tinystep has received an undisclosed amount of seed funding from Flipkart as the network continues to grow and mature. The startup, based in Bengaluru, says it will use the funds for product development, to enhance user-experience, and to strengthen its 25-member team, reports CNN.
The purpose of Tinystep is to allow parents to communicate and collaborate with one another about the topics that surround parenting. While Silicon Valley has produced Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and many other social media outlets, the Tinystep team hopes that the next major social networking success will come from India.
The company's team is made up, for the most part, of engineers from colleges like Stanford and Indian Institutes of Technology.
The mobile app and the website have features such as noting a baby's first steps, first tooth, and special events. There is also a function that encourages parents to organize play dates with other users or to set up times to meet for coffee or a meal.
The child care industry in India is an area with tremendous potential, according to Flipkart Head of Corporate Development Nishant Verman. He adds that Tinystep's focus on bringing the parent community together is a step in the right direction.
Flipkart is India's largest e-commerce firm and focuses on backing emerging, mobile-centered technology ventures. Earlier this month, reports Biswarup Gooptu of India's Economic Times, Flipkart funded an undisclosed amount to Red Brick Lane Marketing Solutions, owners of the media technology startup ZAPR.
Tinystep, launched in September 2015 by Suhail Abidi, a graduate of IIT-Kanpur and the Stanford School of Business, already has 10,000 parents following. He added that the children's services market in India is worth approximately $25 billion. Tinystep is coming into its own by adding roughly 5,000 parents per week. Flipkart is currently valued at $15 billion.
"We want to get services providers such as daycare and medical professionals on board." said Abidi.
Abidi added more subjects to the list of features that make Tinystep a fulfilling experience, writes Tausif Alam of YourStory. The platform includes getting advice and information from more experienced parents about planning for a baby, being pregnant, or feeding your baby, among an infinite number of varied issues that come up in the world of parenting.
Other areas of interest like a Q&A forum, individual and group chat rooms, and vaccination and growth charts keep the network relevant.
Perusing the Tinystep website's blog reveals articles on topics such as puberty, teething, best books for children, and how to raise a confident child. The forums are rampant with questions from parents concerning which foods are best for babies, what to do about baby's nasal congestion, and getting baby to sleep.
An article in The Times of India gives advice on parenting for Indian mothers and fathers, not unlike parenting advice given in most countries. The author says over-protective parents can cause their children to become overly dependent adults. If a parent is suspicious, it could lead to their child becoming a distrustful adult with low confidence.
A parent who exhibits emotional or physical violence can scar his or her child for life. When parents push their children to succeed, their kids can feel worthless, and passive parents can create adults who cannot accept criticism or mistakes on their own part or on others'.
All of these issues and more are driving robust discussion on Tinystep as both the company and its investors look to maintain and grow their lead in India's parenting sector.