The developer of a machine learning-enhanced baby monitor, Nanit, has managed to nab $21 million in financing even amid the teeth of an epidemic that has slowed venture financing across the board.
Nanit said it would use the financing for continued product development and global expansion.
For Nanit, the social distancing required to stop the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic has proven to be a huge boost for business. Families with grandparents, aunts and uncles make up 20% of the company's active users, according to a statistic provided by Nanit.
The company didn't even have to tap outside investors or go on a road show for its recent raise, according to chief executive Sarah Dorsett. So far, Nanit has sold more than 150,000 cameras and has at least twice as many users who are accessing the company's app for remote monitoring of newborns and one-year-olds.
Prices for the sleep monitoring and video device range from $299 for a wall-mounted camera to $379 for one attached to a floor stand. Currently, Nanit sells its monitoring devices in the U.S., Canada and the U.K.
The company's app is free for the first year and then costs $5 per month to connect three users to the app. Upgrades are available for $10 per month for more users or $30 per month for unlimited users. And the company's new line of wearable breathing bands, swaddles and sleeping bags range from $19.99 to $59.99.
Nanit does more than just provide a live, shareable feed of movements. The company is getting set to launch a new feature that would capture when a baby smiles or when they begin to move around in a crib, according to Dorsett.
"The company has experienced incredible growth from 2018, and our recent funding points to the confidence and demand in the marketplace for innovative consumer products," Dorsett, said in a statement. "Having a baby is one of the most significant life moments not only for parents but for the entire family. We are so fortunate to be able to use our technology to keep families connected and sharing in this precious new journey, no matter where they are."
Nanit has also launched a new line of wearables called Breathing Wear that track their infant’s breathing motion by reading the pattern printed on the fabric without putting sensors on their skin.
"Nanit has solved the age-old problem of teaching your baby to fall asleep. The company's products are expanding our understanding of 'life in the crib' and giving families more ways to share in the joy of parenting. The company has achieved incredible product-market fit and we believe Nanit is well-positioned to address a wide range of health and wellness questions for families and physicians," said Will Porteous, general partner, RRE Ventures, in a statement.