Exclusive: AI-powered parenting solutions startup Parentof raises $1 mn seed round
Bengaluru based Parentof Solutions, which runs artificial intelligence (AI) based parenting tool MAI and an education sector focused enterprise resource planning (ERP) tool called Pupilpod, has raised $1 million in a seed funding round from Zikenn co-founder Srinivasan V. Zaikenn is an early stage sector agnostic fund.
The latest infusion comes more than two years after the startup raised a total of $1 million from a group of angel investors including Srinivasan; R S Shanbhag, founder and CEO of systems integrator Valuepoint; and Karthee Madasamy, former managing director of Qualcomm Ventures.
The capital in this round will go into the further development of its parenting system, which includes adding a personalised layer to the offering and expanding its partner network ecosystem, Swaroop Madhavan, CEO, Parentof, told TechCircle.
Parentof’s business-to-customer (B2C) app MAI is an AI-powered smart assistant for parents. It attempts to impact parenting decision making through scientific recommendations. It requires parents to answer a few mandatory questions (about 20-28 questions) around the child’s behavioural traits at the time of on-boarding, and creates a preliminary profile.
The AI engine designs the automated interactions around three key domains such as behavioural, cognition and psychomotor. Each domain has multiple indicators for assessments and the engine picks up perspectives from all these indicators. It then collates the data points and creates a comprehensive profile on the child. Based on these data points, MAI suggests certain recommendations which includes simple activities. Parents can schedule these activities and for those that require external facilities (hobby classes or sports training), it would connect them with a provider. MAI measures the outcomes of each recommendation.
“Today, there are a lot of parenting communities, content and information on social media forums and other web pages that only fuel parental anxiety. We want to make anxiety optional for parents or make anxiety-less parenting a reality. This is where we began our research. We wanted to build an engine that could offer scientific recommendations for parents and thus developed this intelligent parenting tool,” he said.
MAI, certified by the department of child psychology at The National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (Nimhans), is free for parents. Madhavan said the company is piloting a number of monetisation models on the B2C front. However, it is not planning to charge users at least for the next two years. The app targets children in 3-16 age-group and doesn’t interact with them directly.
“The idea is to venture into multiple domains, further power up the data bank with continuous research and strengthen our recommendation engine. The best way to do that is to build our partner ecosystem,” he added.
Pupilpod, its business-to-business (B2B) offering, is an education management platform ParentOf acquired in a strategic deal from the Value Point Group in 2018. It offers a comprehensive ERP solution to help schools manage a gamut of functions including admission, fees, transport, payments, academics, parent-teacher communication, hostel and alumni management.
ParentOf has added an analytics layer on top of the ERP offering. It picks up the data from report cards the ERP solution produces, draws intelligence from them and helps partner institutions with decision making. It essentially provides an intelligent report card to teachers with actionable insights to help them make decisions about students.
Madhavan, who earlier co-founded a professional training startup Quantum Leap, founded the Parentof along with Dhananjay Prabhu, former director of Vishwa Bharati; C Manohar, a veteran educationist; and Jushoi Emmanuel, who was Madhavan’s co-founder at Quantum Leap.
The company claims to have gathered over 250 million data points on child growth and development, and has a user base of 2.5 lakhs parents on its platform. It works with over 500 partners that include schools, hobby classes, coaching and vocational training institutes.
“With the two products that we continue to develop, we aim to create a connected ecosystem where parents, schools, vocational training, and hobby classes are brought together to extract data to help better growth and developmental decisions for the children,” Madhavan said. ParentOf claims revenues at about $500,000 currently and expects to clock $1.5 million by the end of this financial year.