Why we invested in Winnie: a modern parent’s guide to the world with kids
by Chian Gong
More than a million millennial moms are now giving birth each year. In fact, nearly 90 percent of all new parents are now millennials. We recently led a $4M investment round in Winnie, a platform that helps this new generation navigate the world of parenting. Winnie is on a mission to be the new home for parents online, providing a free, searchable, on-demand resource for all things related to parents and their families.
The millennial generation is infamous for being the self-obsessed, “me” generation, but with the birth of their children, that’s changing. More millennial parents, both moms and dads, consider being a parent a core element of their identity — even more so than previous generations. The shift is now from “me” to “my child.” Sixty percent of all millennials — women and men — say having children is central to their identity and rate the goal of being a good parent 22 points higher than having a successful marriage.
It’s clear: millennials want to be great parents and are hungry for resources. They came online during their formative years and now live on social media and expect information on-demand. Legacy parenting resources (books, websites, and mothers groups) still exist, but lack the mobile, social, on-demand experience that millennials now expect.
Parents today are more likely to have to juggle work and family responsibilities — 65 percent of children under the age of six live in households where all available parents are in the workforce. These same parents are also raising their children with limited family supports as more millennials flock to cities away from where they grew up. Without family members to lean on, millennials are turning to the internet. 71 percent of millennials cite parenting websites, online forums, parenting blogs and social networks among their top parental influences.
However, Google is a far cry from advice from your mother or an expert — a simple search for “breastfeeding” surfaces a range of materials from babycenter to Wikipedia and even articles from People magazine. The search engine is all things to all people, which for a nursing mother, is overwhelming, unrelatable, and difficult to parse.
Enter Winnie — its parent-centric platform and appealing user experience offers a safe place to ask questions and find that ‘village’ it takes to raise a child. Its design allows for contextualized, local insights and the surfacing of relevant information with the lens of parents helping parents. For anyone with a child in their lives, Winnie is a critical resource to help scout out the best kid-friendly restaurant, find the most reliable daycare, and celebrate that first day of school.
Today, one of the most popular features on Winnie is local search. 62 percent of parents with children under five say it is difficult to find child care in their community that is both affordable and high quality. And quality early learning is so critical: there is a significant body of research that shows investing in early childhood pays lasting dividends in terms of a child’s IQ, health, and economic achievement. Winnie’s childcare search provides a comprehensive list of all licensed daycares and preschools with detailed information including prices, photos, and parent reviews to help parents find the right spot for their child.
We love that Winnie is meeting millennial parents where they are (on mobile and social) and creating a community to surface great advice and resources to help families navigate the world of parenting. And it is already making a difference — 50 percent of parents on Winnie say that they have changed their parenting behavior because of Winnie. With over one million users and counting — Winnie is now used in over 10,000 cities across the United States and these parents now have access to resources and expert advice to help raise a happy and healthy future generation.