BabyGroup expands to 8 new markets

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South African parenting online portal BabyGroup has expanded to eight new countries in southern Africa, opening the company’s products to a “desperate market”.

Launched in 2013, BabyGroup is an online shop specialising in baby and parenting products, as well as a platform providing information, advice and support to parents online.

Speaking to Disrupt Africa, co-founder and managing director James Townsend-Rose said the startup has 20,000 unique users with its user base doubling approximately every four months; but felt the need to open its offerings to a larger market.

By expanding to eight new countries – Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Zambia, Malawi, Lesotho and Swaziland – Townsend-Rose says the company’s potential market increases from 60 million in South Africa, to the combined 120 million strong market of all the countries combined.

According to Townsend-Rose, reliable and accessible parenting products and information are so sparse in the countries in which BabyGroup is now operational, that a “desperate market” has been created which the company hopes to serve.

The co-founder says the demand for an online parenting platform in the new markets was proven immediately, with the online shop receiving an order worth ZAR17,000 (US$1,480) from Mozambique within minutes of launching in the country.

Following BabyGroup’s 2013 launch, the startup secured funding from Savannah Fund in June 2014 – one of Savannah Fund’s first two investments made in South Africa.

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Inspired and excited by the African tech entrepreneurial scene, Gabriella spends her time travelling around the continent to report on the most innovative tech startups, the most active investors, and the latest trends emerging in the ecosystem.

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