Auggie’s new app helps parents find community and shop

4 min read

A new startup called Auggie is aiming to give parents a single platform where they can shop for products and connect with each other. The company’s new app, which launched this week, offers parents a platform where they can share product recommendations, shop vetted products and find community amongst each other to get real-time advice on different parenting matters. 

Auggie was founded in August 2023 by Lily Walla, an entrepreneur who previously founded an edible branding startup called SPOTS NYC that sold to Branded Treats, a food-distributor for 1-800-Flowers. 

Walla came up with the idea for Auggie when she was pregnant with her first child. She was seeking advice from the people around her to help make decisions about what stroller to purchase or which pediatrician to choose. After finding herself juggling several different spreadsheets and group chats, Walla decided to create a product that would make it easier for parents to find vetted products and get advice from other parents. 

Walla decided to name the startup after her son’s birth month: August. 

“Parents seek advice and product recommendations during every stage of parenting,” Walla told TechCrunch. “They prefer word of mouth recommendations. I can attest to that and I hear from parents who share similar experiences. But shopping, sharing and building community have kind of always been siloed.”

Auggie wants to solve this by connecting the dots between community and commerce for parents, both expecting and current. 

The company launched a WhatsApp community in January to test out a way for parents to connect for real-time advice and the community ended up exceeding WhatsApp’s limit for members and subgroups. After seeing more than 450,000 messages and 35,000 product recommendations shared on the WhatsApp community, Auggie accelerated plans for its own app, which would be the new home for its community. The app is now available on iOS, while an Android launch is expected to come in the next few weeks. 

Image Credits: Auggie

The app aims to help parents find advice, camaraderie and practical tips as they navigate parenthood. Parents can explore topic-based spaces to dive into different discussions, from feeding to sleep to travel and more. You can also find a community based on your due date or geographical location. 

The app is currently free-to-use, but the startup may explore a subscription model at some point in the future. 

In March, the company launched the second part of its mission: its desktop marketplace powered by the recommendations shared by parents in its community. The marketplace currently has 10,000 products from popular brands like BabyBjörn, UPPAbaby, Skip Hop and more. In addition to products, it also features services, which means parents can use the marketplace to find pediatricians, lactation consultants, doulas and more. 

The marketplace isn’t directly integrated into the mobile app, so when a user clicks on a recommended product, they are linked out to the web app. Auggie does, however, plan to integrate the marketplace into its app in the near future.

Auggie’s current business model is based on affiliate marketing, so the company earns commission on each product sold through its marketplace. As for the future, Walla says Auggie is working to diversify its business model by unlocking drop-shipping and partnering with brands.

The startup is targeting the default parent, which Walla says tends to be the mom who is sometimes overwhelmed with decision fatigue. The startup is also mainly targeting parents with children who are under five-years of age. 

“Our Northstar is to filter out the noise when it comes to every stage of parenting to have content, community and commerce all in one place,” Walla said. “We’re just really focused on scaling the community, our retail partners, and just building the ecosystem of recommendations when it comes to parenting.”

Auggie raised $1.7 million in seed funding in August 2023 from NFX, Accel, Allison Stern at Mother Ventures, XFactor Ventures, and a few strategic angel investors.

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