When Allison Rapaport was pregnant for the first time, in 2013, she struggled to find workout classes that didn’t completely go against the advice her OB-GYN gave her.
Conflicted on whether to trust online workouts or just slow down altogether, Rapaport went to a personal trainer, Leah Keller. The result? A program that was clear, straightforward and, most importantly, safe. Rapaport was back to her original stride just weeks after giving birth.
Turns out Keller’s fitness expertise matched well with Rapaport’s business eye, who had recently graduated business school and was the co-founder of Columbia Business Lab. The duo founded Every Mother, an online fitness streaming company that focuses on pre and post-natal care for childbearing women.
The company announced today that it has closed a $1.5 million seed round led by Courtside Ventures, with participation from Serena Williams’ Serena Ventures, Techstars Ventures, The Fund and prominent angels Robin Berzin of Parsley Health and Ilia Papas of Blue Apron.
Every Mother will offer fitness classes to combat one of the most common conditions that affects expecting mothers: diastasis recti, a condition that leads to a protruding waistline, urinary incontinence and back pain. The condition often worsens with traditional exercise, Rapaport said.
The classes range from 10 to 30 minutes and are pre-recorded videos. Customers can sign up for a quarterly or annual subscription and then take a quiz to help Every Mother place them in a corresponding stage. Users can be placed among other women preparing for pregnancy or amid new moms.
Day one starts with educational content and foundational exercises, and users can enter their waist measurements to track progress. As time goes on, educational content regarding how to repair certain conditions becomes less and less, and foundation core exercises get longer. Full body workouts cap every day.
The company claims it is the only clinically proven workout to repair and resolve diastasis recti. Its first study was a retrospective with Weill Cornell published in 2013, and the next study will be a prospective trial done with HSS in NYC.
The company was profitable when it closed the deal in late January. The valuation, per Rapaport, was $9 million post-money. While the pandemic was not part of the company’s fundraising process, COVID-19 surely impacted the startup’s growth: new sign-ups grew more than 50% in April, per Rapaport.
When asked about how Every Mother differs from a free Zoom workout class, Rapaport, who is currently 37 weeks pregnant with child number three on the way, responded, “It isn’t just about being accessible, both from a medium and cost standpoint. It’s about giving women something that is safe, that works, and that they can actually follow and stick to.”