Auggie’s new app helps parents find community and shop

The new startup called Auggie aims to give parents a single platform where they can shop for products and connect with each other. companies new applicationwhich launched this week, offers parents a platform where they can share product recommendations, shop verified products and find community among themselves to get real-time advice on a variety of parenting issues.

Auggie was founded in August 2023 by Lily Walla, an entrepreneur who previously founded an edible branding startup called SPOTS NYC that sold to Branded Treats, a food distributor for 1-800-Flowers.

Walla came up with the idea for Auggie when she was pregnant with her first child. She sought advice from people around her to help her decide which stroller to buy or which pediatrician to choose. After juggling several different spreadsheets and group chats, Walla decided to create a product that would make it easier for parents to find proven products and get advice from other parents.

Walla decided to name the startup after the month of her son’s birth: August.

«Parents are looking for advice and product recommendations during every stage of parenting,» Walla told TechCrunch. «They prefer word of mouth recommendations. I can confirm this and hear from parents who share similar experiences. But shopping, sharing and community building have always been isolated.”

Auggie wants to solve this by connecting the dots between the community and the store for parents, both expected and current.

The company launched a WhatsApp community in January to test a way parents could connect for real-time advice, and the community eventually exceeded WhatsApp’s limit on members and subgroups. After seeing more than 450,000 messages and 35,000 product recommendations shared in the WhatsApp community, Auggie accelerated plans for his own app, which would be the new home for his community. The app is now available for iOS, while an Android launch is expected in the next few weeks.

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Image credits: Auggie

The app aims to help parents find advice, friendship and practical advice as they navigate parenting. Parents can explore topic-based spaces to dive into different discussions, from feeding to sleeping to travel and more. You can also find a community based on your date of birth or geographic location.

The app is currently free to use, but the startup may explore a subscription model at some point in the future.

In March, the company launched the second part of its mission: a desktop marketplace powered by referrals from parents in the community. The market currently has 10,000 products from popular brands such as BabyBjörn, UPPAbaby, Skip Hop and others. In addition to products, it also offers services, meaning parents can use the marketplace to find pediatricians, lactation consultants, doulas, and more.

The marketplace is not directly integrated into the mobile app, so when a user clicks on a recommended product, they are connected to the web app. However, Auggie plans to integrate the marketplace into its app in the near future.

Auggie’s current business model is based on affiliate marketing, so the company earns a commission for each product sold through its marketplace. As for the future, Walla says Auggie is working to diversify its business model by unlocking dropshipping and partnering with brands.

The startup targets the default parent, who Walla says is usually a mom who is sometimes overwhelmed with decision-making fatigue. The startup also mainly targets parents with children under the age of five.

«Our Northstar filters out the noise when it comes to every stage of parenting to have content, community and commerce all in one place,» said Walla. «We’re just focused on growing the community, our retail partners and just building the referral ecosystem when it comes to parenting.»

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Auggie has raised $1.7 million in seed funding in August 2023 from NFX, Accel, Allison Stern of Mother Ventures, XFactor Ventures and several strategic angel investors.

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