Japan’s mom-focused Q&A app secures $1.3 million, helping solve problems on childcare



This is the abridged version from our original article in Japanese.

Tokyo-based Connehito, the company behind a mobile Q&A app for female users, announced on Tuesday that it has fundraised 150 million yen (about $1.25 million) from B Dash Ventures and Primal Capital. The company will use the funds to strengthen development efforts around the mobile app service.

Connehito provides two services: Mamari, a how-to website for mothers at the time of childbirth or while nursing a child, and MamariQ, a mobile app for questions and answers among mothers. Focused on dealing with female-specific problems, these services have acquired more than 1 million monthly unique visitors and been seeing a 140% MoM growth in the number of articles posted by users.

Shunsuke Oyu, CEO of Connehito, has been known for having developed Creatty, an online portfolio showcase and marketplace for independent product designers. However, the service faced pretty tough going because of flourishing competitors such as Etsy, and subsequently pivoted.

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Oyu elaborated:

We thought of shutting down our company. However, we changed our minds and started taking on the challenge again in late 2013. Subsequently, we launched a health-focused Q&A site in 2014, where we keep writing stories like how to mitigate pains from stiff shoulders and lumbago. But when the numbers of articles posted reached around 400, we learned that the most trendy topics were about how to call and use a cab for a hospital when the mother feels the beginnings of labor.

Since Oyu also got married when he was 23 years old, he well recognizes many problems around childbirth or childcare. So his team decided to abandon their past and shift to their focus to addressing female-specific problems.

In addition to VC firms participating this funding round, we see many investors in Conehito from young entrepreneurs in Japan, such as Coach United CEO Nobuhiro Ariyasu and seed stage-focused investor Anri Samata.

Connehito CEO Shunsuke Oyu

Translated by Masaru Ikeda
Edited by “Tex” Pomeroy