Newly-launched startup EcoMom.com forgoes the current trend toward crowdsourced community decision-making. Instead, the company uses a rigid internal process and carefully-selected external partners to decide which environmentally-friendly products to recommend to its target demographic of women with children.
EcoMom, formed by SproutBaby.com founder Jody Sherman and new business partner Kimberly Danek Pinkson, is an angel-funded company that strives to offer Whole Foods-level quality without Whole Foods-level prices. The company, which claimed to have 5,000 customers prior to launch day, defines its mission as “nourishing Generation Organic from the highchair to the lunchbox.” Today’s homepage headline: “Easy to pack organic snacks.”
So, I had to ask, why is Web 2.0-centric investor and pundit Dave McClure funding what seems like a boutique retailer rather than a socially-networked play? Because McClure thinks the entire field of green parenting has gone largely untapped by Internet-savvy entrepreneurs.
“The intersection of green and parenting is a nice big world,” he told me in a phone interview. “There’s a pretty big market for moms. And there’s a pretty big market for these products. It feels like there’s lots more to be built out in that space.”
But why aren’t entrepreneurs rushing in? “I think there’s an overfocus on younger demographics,” McClure said, “because the founders are single males under 25. They’re interested in music and things like that. There’s a lot of the social tech that hasn’t been applied yet for parents and Moms.”
As a parent of two young children, McClure said the potential for a site like EcoMom.com seemed obvious to him: “I want to make sure I know what products are safe and healthy for my kids.” But he’s also got another point about investing: An untapped market can be more attractive to the right investor than the prospects for another status update aggregator.
[Photo: Flickr/Jay Goldman]