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How a New Take on the Stroller Snagged $20 Million in Funding 4moms, an inventive child-care products business plans to build tech into strollers and infant seats.

By Gwen Moran Edited by Frances Dodds

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

What do you get when you join a Carnegie Mellon robotics engineer with a Northwestern MBA grad? In the case of 4moms, a whole new take on the stroller and infant seat. Now flush with $20 million in Series A funding from Bain Capital Ventures in Boston, 4moms can add more designers, engineers and production staff to its inventive child-care products business.

The guys behind Pittsburgh-based 4moms, Rob Daley and Henry Thorne, joined forces in 2003 on their first product, a digital shower controller, which generated more interest from mothers worried about scalding water than from their intended target market of male gadget geeks. Intrigued, Daley and Thorne turned their attention to what's known as the juvenile market. They formed a focus group that included Daley's wife and four of her friends, who unspooled a wish list of features they found lacking in the products they used with their small children every day.

"Ultimately, we learned that these moms wanted products that were as elegant and cool as they saw themselves. We realized they didn't want monkeys or giraffes on their stuff," Thorne says.

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