The Hindu BusinessLine: June 6, 2016
‘Virtual grandparent’ mycity4kids plans to expand its presence to seven more cities this year to advise parents on how to balance good parenting with their professional and other requirements.
The website, an online mother-focused content platform where parents of under-14 children meet each other, had raised about Rs. 20 crore in January. “Currently, we are present in Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Jaipur, Ahmedabad and Pune. By the end of 2016, we will expand to seven other cities, all state capitals,” Vishal Gupta, Founder-Managing Director, told BusinessLine.
In the next two years, the one-stop-shop for parenting advice plans to further expand to a total of 25 cities, said the IIM-Bangalore alumnus who had worked earlier with Asian Paints, HUL and Aviva. A father of two, Gupta decided to “trade” his Director-Marketing position to turn entrepreneur six years ago.
Mycity4kids helps multi-tasking parents manage the task of modern-day parenting better, particularly in nuclear families, by helping parents share experiences of bringing up a child within an online community where they can relate to others like them.
“We like all other parents, we also used to dwell on how difficult it is to find appropriate things to do or places to go to with children. It struck me that pretty much all parents faced the same issues as us. Now, all this content is readily available city-wise on mycity4kids — right from heated swimming pools for winters, to cycling tracks for kids and so on — making is so much easier,” Gupta reminisces about how he came to turn his own ‘crises’ into business opportunity.
Claiming to be India’s largest user-generated content and influencing platform for parents, he said the company also plans to introduce content in regional languages to reach out to more parents.
About the company’s business model, Gupta said 65 per cent of revenues come from blogging solutions that attract advertisements, and the rest from businesses that feature on the website. More than 30 brands used these solutions last year.
He said about 35 lakh users, mostly mothers, currently visit the platform every month with a 30-per cent growth on quarterly basis. The community of parents includes a Mommy Blogger platform with nearly 1,200 bloggers, over 8,000 blogs, listing of over 75,000 kids-related businesses and service providers, and 15,000 events per annum across nine cities.
The platform also has a popular app, Gupta added.
He said the changes brought about by modern lifestyle have made parenting a stressful experience, particularly when both the spouses are working professionals.
“As a result, unlike earlier times when parenting knowledge flowed vertically from grandparents to parents, the knowledge flow is much more horizontal, with peer group advice from other mums playing a much larger and more influential role. Our platform facilitates this exchange of knowledge between mums, thereby ensuring that the job of parenting never overtakes the joy of parenting.”