You’d agree with me that the journey of any pregnancy cannot go untold.
The need for constant attention and assurance that you are not alone and can pull through is always at the top of your mind.
That’s what Babymigo was built to present. Launched in 2020, the startup is a reliable partner to every mother, from early stage and through it all.
Kemi Olawoye, Babymigo’s Co-founder, was inspired to be a sustainable solution for challenges of motherhood. In this chat, she explains how it all started, the unique value addition and global impact of Babymigo.
From the name Babymigo, anyone can guess correctly that your works have to do with babies and nursing mothers; but can you tell us about Babymigo in a way that no one can see at a go?
Babymigo is Nigeria’s fastest-growing pregnancy and parenting community focused on providing tools, resources and local support services for pregnant women and parents with children between the ages of 0 and 7.
In line with these on our platform, we also have services including what we call PreggClass and MamaCare to that effect.
PreggClass is a digital antenatal support program that is designed to help pregnant women prepare for motherhood.
What we do is to support the hospital antenatal experience leveraging technology. We take pregnant women from their first trimester and through a comprehensive syllabus.
Beyond the syllabus, we also provide community and several benefits, including discounted services with partners and others. We’ve had several mums who have been part of our PreggClass and have several testimonials.
How did you find yourself in this line of business? What has been your drive and inspiration?
I studied Physiotherapy at the College of Medicine, University of Lagos and when I finished school, I worked in the hospital for some time.
During this period, I headed the women’s health unit. What we did then was that every Wednesday, when mums were done seeing the Gynaecologist, they came up to the Physiotherapy department. We had these sessions that we used to conduct for them.
We realised during this time that a lot of women enjoyed the community because the way the regular antenatal was downstairs, they just listened to nurses and went to see the Gynaecologist.
But when they came to us, they liked the community that we had and always had lots of questions. Again, in hospitals, antenatal was just once in a week and to be honest, for mothers, pregnancy and motherhood is one of the toughest journeys in life and one class a week doesn’t prepare halfway through what you need.
This lack of community, especially culturally specific, was our drive. It’s important to mention that you may find such solutions Internationally, but how many of them are actually talking about local and African issues related to pregnant women? For instance, the use of palm oil, white thread and the likes.
This was why we started Babymigo.
What are the unique offerings given by Babymigo that can’t be found in any other healthtech in this sector? And if what you offer is similar to others, how have you been able to keep a competitive edge?
In terms of community, I’d say we are leading in that area; that’s our unique standing. Pregnancy is not a journey that anyone should do alone, it’s tough, even for mothers who have had two or three babies, every pregnancy is different.
Another thing that has given us a competitive edge is a clear understanding of the market. We don’t just assume, we constantly conduct surveys to help us understand our audience so we are sure that the solutions we are constantly providing for these mums are actually addressing problems they are actually facing. We are problem-oriented.
This brings us to the challenges and hurdles you’ve encountered so far. Tell us about the challenges from the early to recent stage of the business.
In the early stages, it took some time for us to build the solution. We started building in 2018 but officially launched our services towards the end of 2020. We had lots of challenges building the technical solutions.
Another challenge was finding good talent, a peculiar problem in Nigeria. We just constantly find ways to get and retain talent.
In this era of fast-changing technology and the need for data optimisation, how do you deal with protecting your customers’ information and cyber insecurity?
In addition to leveraging technology, we work with healthcare as well, that gives a double phase to privacy because healthcare is that industry where you don’t want to reveal the patient’s information.
We also leverage soft technology tools and some Google tools. We were part of the Black Founders Fund recipient last year and one of the things that the Google team did was to empower and teach us how to leverage different Google tools to help us navigate this problem.
Another thing that we do is that in our general processes, from onboarding to execution and delivering our services, data privacy is one thing we ensure all through.
So far, over 250,000 mums have signed up on our platform. We’ve had major reach in Nigeria and Ghana. Although we haven’t officially launched in Ghana, we are looking to do that.
Interestingly, even mums outside these countries constantly leverage our platform, it goes across Africa.
It shows that the problems of Africa can truly be solved by only Africans. We have African mums in the US, Jamaica, and several other countries leveraging this solution.
Babymigo plans to launch in Ghana and Kenya next year.