LatchAid uses 3D interactive technology and AI to support mothers and families during their breastfeeding and early parenthood journeys. Today the company is announcing its seed round that includes a £510k Innovate UK Innovation Loan, bringing total investment to £1M. The round was led by Dan Cobley, former MD of Google UK & Ireland, and also includes Eileen Burbidge MBE, the “Queen of British VC”, along with Priya Oberoi, Founding General Partner of the female-centered healthcare fund, Goddess Gaia Ventures.
LatchAid was founded by Dr. Chen Mao Davies, a R&D specialist who previously worked on the Oscar (Academy Award) and BAFTA award-winning visual effects of Hollywood blockbuster films Gravity and Blade Runner 2049. Chen’s own struggles with breastfeeding compelled her to start LatchAid in order to revolutionize breastfeeding and early parenthood support with equal parts technological innovation and empathy.
She shares: “As a Chinese female solo entrepreneur running a women’s health business, it’s not easy to find investment. But if you can find the right investors, great ideas and a great team will ultimately attract funding.”
The UK has the lowest breastfeeding rate in the world. 90% of women give up breastfeeding before they want to because of pain, health issues, and/or lack of support. Unsuccessful breastfeeding costs society $1bn per day globally. To address this LatchAid’s app uses 3D interactive technology to help mothers learn breastfeeding skills intuitively from 3D avatars. Other features include virtual peer support groups to connect mothers to a close-knit peer-to-peer support network, an AI-powered chatbot, and 1-1 live expert chats, all to provide personalized expertise and companionship.
Funds from this round will be used to expand the company’s B2B offerings to healthcare organizations as a licensed prescription app, to corporates for employee benefit schemes, and to insurance companies for health insurance packages. LatchAid also aims to expand its B2C market reach to expectant and new mothers. Product R&D goals include the developemnt of sentiment AI capability, expanding core support to a 1,000-day cycle, enhancing 3D interactive components, and cross-platform development for iOS and Android.
LatchAid currently offers 24/7 digital support to users in 84 countries and is available to download on the App Store. It has recently completed a successful pilot with 12 NHS trusts and the HCRG Group across the UK, demonstrating positive health economic benefits.
Dan Cobley, former Head of Google UK and Ireland, and co-founder of ClearScore and Salary Finance, who led the round, shares: “Chen has already achieved so much with such limited resources. I am convinced that, with this funding and the support of such a great group of investors, LatchAid will grow to be an amazing force for good in this critical health area, first in the UK and then across the world.”