There are millions of books instructing parents on how to raise a newborn and understand what a baby’s crying and fussing really means. But what if there was a more concrete and measurable way enhanced with technology to understand why your baby is waking up and crying at 3am every night? Nanit has reinvented the baby monitor by using a real-time HD camera coupled with computer vision to observe and understand your baby’s sleeping habit. The platform features an app that displays a highlight reel of your baby’s sleep, tracking a number of factors to provide parents with a thorough report on the child’s sleep patterns and actionable insights to improve.
AlleyWatch spoke with CEO and Cofounder Dr. Assaf Glazer to understand how this technology is providing parents with unprecedented insight and its latest round of funding, which brings the total amount of funding raised to $28M for the startup founded in 2015.
Who were your investors and how much did you raise?
The Series B was for $14M. It was led by Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP), with participation from existing investors Upfront, RRE, Vulcan Capital and Vaal Investment Partners.
Tell us about Nanit’s product.
Nanit is the most advanced baby monitor, ever. An overhead HD camera, Nanit is the only monitor that tracks, and understands, everything that happens in and around your baby’s crib, and uses that data to provide personalized guidance to help your baby sleep better. Because when your baby sleeps better, you sleep better.
What inspired you to start Nanit?
I spent my industry and academic life studying computer vision, eventually receiving my PhD from Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, and as a post doctorate at Cornell University. 6 years ago, I also had my first child, and realized that there wasn’t a great solution on the market that really told me how well my baby was sleeping. It’s kind of a mystery for a first-time parent, understanding your baby’s sleeping patterns, so we set out to provide parents with a solution.
How is Nanit different?
Nanit tracks, and understands, everything happening in and around your baby’s crib. It knows when they slept, how long it took to fall asleep, how many times the parent visited, the room temperature, the humidity, etc. It takes all this data and processes it into the user’s app, giving them real-time data on their baby’s sleep development. From there, Nanit even provides personalized coaching on how to help your baby sleep. Not cookie-cutter advice, or generic data scraped from the internet, but real, individual guidance from trained sleep experts.
What market you are targeting and how big is it?
We target parents! Over 4M babies are born each year in the US, and part of this funding will help us expand into international markets, bringing our market to over 30M people. Nanit has an opportunity to address pain points in the baby care industry, but its efforts are applicable well beyond the first offering and sector.
What’s your business model?
Our business is built on a combination of Hardware and Software revenue, generated through online, retail and B2B partners.
What are some insights and outcomes that you can share from the data collected from use of your platform since its launch in 2016?
We’ve proven that parents need the help that we are providing with an increased month over month engagement, even beyond the first and second year. Nanit helps parents fully understand their baby’s sleeping, which in turn helps them get more sleep, and will help the baby’s overall cognitive development.
What was the funding process like?
It wasn’t easy to find the right partner. I’d say that it took us 4-5 months from the first meeting to the close.
What are the biggest challenges that you faced while raising capital?
Fundraising is a hard search problem – it would take a lot of “NOs” until you find the right “YES”.
What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?
Our infrastructure, the way we process our data, and the potential of our technology. While we currently offer a solution for babies, there is nothing preventing us from bringing our sleep technology to the general public, greatly increasing our footprint in the market.
What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?
We plan to continue improving our technology so that it meets our customers’ needs. We’re constantly adding new features and software updates, and we also plan to launch into international markets in the next six months.
What advice can you offer companies in New York that do not have a fresh injection of capital in the bank?
Focus on making the best product you can possibly make now and for the future. The devil is in the details – doing something well in today’s market isn’t the only answer, you need to make sure you’re doing it in a way that can continue scaling, so the business can continue growing, and the company can continue innovating.
Where do you see the company going now over the near term?
We are continuing to optimize our Software – we have some exciting new features launching in the next 90 days that not only improve the customer experience, but also build on our already superior security.
What’s your favorite restaurant in the city?
Timna – an Israeli restaurant in The East Village. Highly recommended!