Hatch Baby, whose Smart Changing Pad is due to ship soon, plans to conceive new tech-based services for parents after raising a $7 million Series A from True Ventures.
Other participants in the round included Geoff Ralston, James Hong, H. Barton Co-Invest Fund, and Veddis Ventures. True Ventures also invested in Hatch Baby co-founder and chief executive officer Ann Crady Weiss’ previous startup, a social networking site for parents called Maya’s Mom that was acquired by BabyCenter in 2007.
Hatch Baby’s first offering, the Smart Changing Pad, is currently taking pre-orders and scheduled to ship in December. The product is a diaper-changing pad with a wireless scale that helps parents track their offspring’s development. Its companion app, which can be used without the changing pad, lets parents see if their baby is hitting milestones set by the World Health Organization.
For people who don’t have kids yet or new parents who are wondering why they should spend $199 (the Smart Changing Pad’s pre-order price) on a changing pad when regular ones start at about $15, Weiss says having a convenient way to weigh a baby and record data can be reassuring.
“Often new parents have no idea whether their infant is getting enough nutrition or is growing as they should. That means frequent, panicked trips to the doctor or lactation consultant to weigh baby and make sure he or she is doing all right,” she told TechCrunch in an email. “The Smart Changing Pad lets parents know from day one, from the comfort of home, whether their baby is getting enough nutrition and growing at a healthy rate.”
The Smart Changing Pad’s closest competitor is probably the Withings Smart Kid Scale, which retails for $179.95 and also sends data to an app. Having a changing pad that doubles as a scale might make it easier to weigh fidgety babies, however, and also means new parents have one less thing to buy.
Weiss says Hatch Baby will use its new funding to develop the Smart Changing Pad and services for its community of users before eventually launching other products.