Bain Capital has invested $20 million into 4moms, a Pittsburgh company that focuses on innovative answers to problems parents face … with a more than a dash of technology and automation.
The company produces products such as “MamaRoo,” a calming baby rocker that is basically a multifunction massage chair with five different rocking motions and a built-in iPod dock with speakers.
Or Origami, a stroller that folds and unfolds at the touch of a button, sports daytime running lights (!), has a LCD dashboard that shows temperature, trip and lifetime distance travelled, and speed.
The kicker? It not only charges itself while you walk, but it also charges your phone.
This is not yo momma’s stroller.
Essentially, the company is doing for parenting aids what Apple has done to consumer electronics and what Dyson is doing to home appliances: Making everyday tools smarter and better by harnessing an intensely user-focused design to the power of sophisticated modern technology.
Of course, all this high-end automation and electronics does not come cheap: Origami is $850. MamaRoo is a comparative bargain at only $200.
According to AllThingsD, the company plans to use the new funding to expand internationally and increase the range of products it offers.
I’m not a mother (does father count?) but I would have loved these tools — although price would have been an issue.
My biggest question: When will 4Moms focus on the biggest source of home drudgery: preparing meals?