How This Single Mother is Helping Families Across the World Through a Parenting App
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As a single mother, parenting wasn’t easy for Priya Rajendran, who is based in Silicon Valley. In early 2017, she was going through a rough patch in life. As a single parent, she was struggling to balance her work and personal life. So Rajendran turned to the local community to get recommendations for a family management app that would help her maintain a schedule and bring some consistency in her life. She got a few recommendations. However, the apps were not up to the mark and most of them were good for a chore, but not for all.
“I realized there wasn’t any one app that helps you manage chores and helps you with your kid’s schedule, or lets you connect with them and the rest of your family,” she says. It was then she decided to launch an app of her own and the ex-PayPal product head started working on building a compact parenting app. For that, she teamed with her former colleague from PayPal and now the co-founder of S’moresUp, Reeves Xavier.
After a year of hard work and patience, S’moresUp was launched in 2018. The app is an all-in-one solution for working parents that helps them manage their households. It also connects users with other parents on the interface, where one can ask questions and take advice.
In a few months since its launch, the app has garnered the likes of 17,500 users. It is now about to launch the Android version and kick off the next phase of its growth and secure funding.
“We wanted to focus on getting the product right, finding the correct product-market fit, and reaching out to as many parents as possible during our limited beta/soft launch period,” Rajendran says.
While explaining the business model of the app, Rajendran says, “Transaction fees on the transactions that will take place in the app, and referral and affiliate fees will be the main focus to drive revenue in the near term.”
“It’s a swiss army knife of parenting management tools because it does many things,” quips Rajendran, when asked about how S’moresUp is different from other apps in the market. While other apps just focus on one particular problem that parents face, this app helps parents create chores, manage rewards, manage pick-up and drop-off schedules for kids, and allows them to share the schedule within the family, or with co-parents or even grandparents.
The rewards system also helps teach kids about the discipline of savings and goal-setting. It also lets parents connect with their own families or extended families, and also meet other parents online for advice and support. The company is offering app to parents across the world. For instance, a parent in Silicon Valley will be able to connect to a parent in India or Taiwan, for any kind of help or support.
The Road Ahead
Taking off S’moresUp wasn’t easy in the tech world of Silicon Valley, where 10 million apps on parenting already exist. The self-funded startup, after creating its reach to around 8000 families, is now looking to raise $1M to take the application to the next stage.
“I didn’t have a steady income and also investing in getting your company off the ground, finding the product market fit, reaching parents and converting them to engage users and scaling was a big hustle at that time,” Rajendran recalls.
“Add life-changing personal events on top of that. It was a pretty intense year to say the least. But eventually, it came out nicely,” Rajendran says, adding, “After a lot of hardships, today, I have managed to strike a balance between my professional and personal life.”
For 2019, the company has big plans that include raising funds to revenue generation and iterating on the features based on feedback from the parents on our app.
While explaining about the pool of opportunities in tech parenting, Rajendran signs off saying, “I think the market is wide open for all-in-one solutions that help parents throughout their entire day and help them manage all of their pain points, almost act like a virtual assistant.”