BabbaCo, a startup that develops products that make parenting easier, has raised $1.2 million in funding led by Lightbank with SV Angel participating in the round. BabbaCo is actually one of the first collaborative investments between Lightbank and SV Angel.
Founded by entrepreneur Jessica Kim, BabbaCo essentially creates and sells unique, educational products for children. The company’s soon to be released BabbaBox is similar to Foodzie’s tasting box, except tailored for parents with kids. BabbaBox is a monthly subscription box that includes an educational experience for children to engage in. It helps parents create, explore, story-tell and teach in an interactive and enriching way.
Each BabbaBox focuses on creating, learning and story telling. For example, one month’s activity could be learning about insects. The BabbaBox would include clay and instructions to sculp an ant, along with an instructional video or story to teach kids the different parts of an ant. The box would also come with an insect catcher and a magnifying glass for kids to actually find real insects.
The boxes are available for specific ages (3, 4, 5 years old) and cost $29.99 per month. Kim says she thought of the idea as a way for parents to do something fun and educational with their kids besides watching TV. Kim says that it can be challenging for parents to provide educational experiences that are engaging and fun for kids.
This isn’t Kim’s first startup. As a college student, Kim actually found Jessica’s Wonders, a brand of premium baked goods. She founded the company out of her dorm room and raised $1 million in start-up capital from angel investors. Jessica’s Wonders then grew to three outsourced manufacturers, thirteen employees, and full distribution launch in the largest chain of supermarkets in New England. Within two years, Jessica’s Wonders grew to $3 million in sales.
In terms of the model, BabbaCo is adding a new twist to the whole monthly boxed subscription service. Foodzie pioneered this, and others like BirchBox and BeachMint (another Lightbank investment) have taken the model and applied the e-commerce angle to other areas, like makeup.
Babbaco seems to provide a compelling way for busy parents who don’t necessarily have the time to cobble together the components for arts ad crafts or other educational, but fun experiences. And there is an element of surprise added with the monthly box subscription service.