Oh, baby: Smilo raises over $3 million to launch digital-first baby brand

by Justine Hofherr
August 15, 2017
Photo via Smilo

This year, the global baby care market is expected to hit $66.8 billion in sales — and Smilo hopes to make its mark on the industry with a newly launched, digital-first brand.

The Boston-based company, which announced $3.25 million in funding this week, caters to millennial parents with a direct-to-consumer website that offers high-performance products for babies and children.

“We want to disrupt the stale baby product industry by offering the most innovative and best-designed products while providing a significantly better experience when shopping for these products,” said Smilo co-founder Josh Wiesman. “Long term, we plan to become the one-stop shop for parents seeking the best products at every stage of childhood.”

Wiesman and his co-founders are no strangers to the baby care industry, either.

With backgrounds ranging from biomedical engineering to pediatric dentistry, Smilo's team members have leveraged their collective experience to create products like pacifiers, feeding systems, baby blankets, snack containers and washcloths that “marry patented technology with expert design,” Wiesman said.

To that end, each Smilo soothing and feeding product is designed with trademark tech and is constructed out of durable BPA-free and dishwasher-safe materials.

The company’s initial product offerings will include a palate support pacifier designed to help prevent dental issues caused by pacifiers, bottles that reduce air intake, a dishwasher-safe bottle brush and pacifier clips designed to avoid damage to clothing.

For parents who prefer online shopping to stepping into big box baby stores, Smilo suggests products that will grow with children, offering guidelines that help parents purchase the appropriate stage products that meet their child’s specific needs.

The company also provides bundles, complete with everything a new parent would need for feeding and soothing — without the overdone color schemes of pink or blue, Wiesman added.

In addition to its first wave of baby products, Wiesman said Smilo has several products in adjacent categories and for other age groups under development, with plans to roll them out over the next six months.

The recent round of seed funding was led by Brand Foundry and Norwest Venture Partners, and will be used for a mix of web and product development, manufacturing and marketing.

Jobs at Smilo

Boston startup guides

Best Companies to Work for in Boston
Coolest Tech Offices in Boston
Best Perks at Boston Tech Companies
Women in Boston Tech