A San Francisco-based social network called Parenthoods has raised a $1.32 million seed round for its modern mobile platform designed to connect millennial parents who are used to apps like Instagram and Snapchat with others locally. In the Parenthoods iOS app, moms and dads chat with fellow parents in order to swap advice, offer support, arrange playdates, and more.
The company, which previously participated in Y Combinator’s summer ’14 program, has raised funding from Slow Ventures, Lowercase Capital, Oliver Jung, Liberty City Ventures, 500 Startups, Paul Buchheit (Gmail founder), Justin Kan (Twitch founder), Clara Shih (co-founder and CEO of Hearsay Social), Eugen Miropolski, David Breger, Ole Ruch, and of course, YC itself. (Kan was one of Parenthoods’ advisors while the company was in YC, and now is an investor.)
Parenthoods was the only company in its Y Combinator batch where both of its founders were women: Siobhan Quinn, a former Foursquare and Google product manager, and Jeni Axline, previously a Director of Production at Say Media. When Axline became a parent for herself for the first time, she realized the need for a network like Parenthoods to exist.
Being a new mom can be an isolating and lonely experience, she found, as your social life once filled with spur-of-the-moment invites, happy hours and nights out on the town, turns into sleepless nights and days of praying for small luxuries like being able to shower in peace. Your old friends are filling up their Facebook feeds with all the fun you’re missing out on, and you can sometimes regret – not your choice or your child, of course – but the life you’ve lost.
Parenthoods steps into fill that gap by helping you transition to a new social network designed for those like you – other parents in the trenches who can help you with your everyday challenges, provide tips, or just lend an ear while you vent. You can also use the app to form online friendships that then transition into the offline world for meetups, playdates, parties, clothing swaps and more.
The company launched this summer in San Francisco with only a few hundred users, but plans to eventually expand to other markets.
With today’s announcement of the fundraising, Parenthoods is also rolling out a few new features. It’s now adding a search feature for those just looking for quick answers, plus bookmarks for saving favorite tips and conversations, and a “reputation and thanks” feature that will help to score the helpfulness of responses. The app, now iPhone 6 and 6 Plus ready, is available for download here on iTunes.