We recently invested in a vertical marketplace and e-commerce company, Babylist, after following the company for multiple years. We often identify great entrepreneurs early and find some that bootstrap and have little need for outside capital. Babylist was one of those companies whose products and offerings speak to their customer base filling a whitespace, a pain point, and disrupting a category.
In the case of Babylist, Natalie Gordon focused on her needs as a new mom, her skills as an engineer, her experience working at Amazon, and found an immediate product-market fit. Natalie leveraged the flywheel of word of mouth combined with the inherent sharing of registries (which translates to tens of shoppers for each new parent) to be capital efficient in her journey to build the modern destination for parenting.
Our pattern recognition includes category-changing brands like JOLYN (competitive swimwear), Vuori (athletic wear), Ritual (supplements), Kendra Scott (jewelry). We clearly see the disruption Babylist has brought to the baby category. Babylist realizes the unique moment they are reaching new parents and how many purchasing decisions they will be making for their new family. When seeking to change a category, brand building often focuses on solving challenges and becoming a destination. Clearly, Babylist has defined and owned the new baby customer journey and become the leading resource for trusted advice for new parents. Ultimately, there are multiple ways to serve your audience, but Content, Commerce, and Community can be key opportunities.
Content is king
We know that attracting users to your brand can be accomplished in many ways. Both digital and real-life content (in the form of showrooms or events) can create ways to provide value and build a relationship over time with consumers who value your brand and come back for more. Babylist helps new parents navigate what gear they may need and highlight different features and uses in robust ways. With fewer salespeople on the floor of big-box retailers, the information that drives parents to Babylist can be invaluable as they start their journey.
Commerce that makes sense
When preparing for a new baby, no one retailer can capture the landscape and needs of new parents. Babylist’s ability to aggregate onto one platform helps parents stay organized. Features that help friends and families understand the needs and wants of a new family, as well as provide convenience, service, and extraordinary gift-giving experiences are why more than 8 million people will give a gift on the Babylist platform this year.
Community brings people together
New parents want to hear from other new parents via reviews, registries, and extended families and friend groups. Opportunities exist for Babylist to continue their community-building efforts and be a resource through not only the baby stage but through the toddler years as new stages of development bring new challenges and the need for additional gear.
As customer acquisition costs increase in a privacy-first world, we believe Babylist is bringing content, commerce, and community together in a unique way that may be the answer to brands seeking to find and leverage the new parent audience.
We are excited to be partners with Babylist on the next stage of their journey!