UK-based femtech startup LatchAid that wants to tackle the challenges in breastfeeding has secured £1 million to grow its breastfeeding and early parenthood support app.
Stellar list of investors
The investment came from a number of sources, including a mix of innovation loans from Innovate UK that invested in NeuroCreate and Alchemy Machines, a convertible loan note from the KQ Labs accelerator programme, and equity investment from expert business angel investors.
The angel group was led by Dan Cobley, former MD of Google UK & Ireland, and also includes Eileen Burbidge MBE, described by Fortune Magazine as the “Queen of British VC”, along with Priya Oberoi, founding partner of the female-centred healthcare fund, Goddess Gaia Ventures, among others.
LatchAid’s investment journey began with the award of a prestigious Innovate UK “Women in Innovation” award and has been supported throughout by Innovate UK EDGE Access to Finance Specialist, Ed Tellwright, who helped th3 femtech startup develop a clear, compelling and credible investment proposition.
Innovate UK EDGE will continue to support as the femtech innovator helps mums redefine their relationship with breastfeeding.
LatchAid will use the proceeds of this investment round to augment the technical and commercial teams and to expand the company’s B2B offerings to healthcare organisations as a licensed prescription app, to corporates for employee benefit schemes, and to insurance companies for health insurance packages. Also, it eyes to grow its breastfeeding and early parenthood support app.
“Ed really helped me to restructure my pitch, make it punchy and follow the thought process of an investor,” said Chen Mao Davies, founder of LatchAid. “It’s proved a big boost to our investment journey.”
“Chen has already achieved so much with such limited resources,” said Dan Cobley. “I am convinced that, with this funding and the support of such a great group of Angels, LatchAid will grow to be an amazing force for good in this critical health area, first in the UK and then across the world.”
How was LatchAid born?
As per reports, the UK has the lowest breastfeeding rate in the world, with 90% of UK women giving up breastfeeding before they want to because of pain, health issues, and/or lack of support.
To address this issue, LatchAid teaches new mums practical skills and helps them fight loneliness, postnatal depression and physical pain with its breastfeeding and early parenthood support app.
It was founded by CGI specialist, Dr Chen Mao Davies, who previously worked on Oscar & BAFTA award-winning visual effects for Hollywood blockbusters, Gravity and Blade Runner 2049.
Compelled by her own difficulties with breastfeeding and faced with a deep personal challenge, she collaborated with film industry colleagues and infant feeding, maternal health and AI experts to develop the technology behind LatchAid.
“I was determined to breastfeed my child,” said Chen, “but nobody told me how difficult and painful it could be. I developed mastitis and thrush and it went on for weeks with mum and baby crying during feeding time. I just felt such a failure – I couldn’t feed my own baby. His weight dropped and I developed postnatal depression. As a technologist, I was frankly shocked by the lack of innovation in this space.”
How does LatchAid revolutionise breastfeeding?
LatchAid is a pioneering app, which uses cutting-edge interactive technology and 3D avatars to help expectant and new mothers intuitively learn breastfeeding skills.
Also, the app connects mothers to close-knit peer-to-peer support groups, live experts who provide 1-to-1 advice and an empathetic, AI-powered virtual supporter chatbot and more for a personalised expertise and companionship.
Currently, LatchAid offers 24/7 digital support to users in 84 countries and is available to download on the App Store. Recently, the femtech startup completed a successful pilot with 12 NHS trusts and the HCRG Group across the UK, thereby demonstrating positive health and economic benefits.