Every Mother is a fitness streaming platform for new and expecting mothers

When Allison Rapaport was pregnant for the first time, in 2013, she struggled to find workout classes that didn’t completely go against the advice her OB-GYN gave her.

Conflicted on whether to trust online workouts or just slow down altogether, Rapaport went to a personal trainer, Leah Keller. The result? A program that was clear, straightforward and, most importantly, safe. Rapaport was back to her original stride just weeks after giving birth.

Turns out Keller’s fitness expertise matched well with Rapaport’s business eye, who had recently graduated business school and was the co-founder of Columbia Business Lab. The duo founded Every Mother, an online fitness streaming company that focuses on pre and post-natal care for childbearing women.

The company announced today that it has closed a $1.5 million seed round led by Courtside Ventures, with participation from Serena Williams’ Serena Ventures, Techstars Ventures, The Fund and prominent angels Robin Berzin of Parsley Health and Ilia Papas of Blue Apron.

Every Mother will offer fitness classes to combat one of the most common conditions that affects expecting mothers: diastasis recti, a condition that leads to a protruding waistline, urinary incontinence and back pain. The condition often worsens with traditional exercise, Rapaport said.

The classes range from 10 to 30 minutes and are pre-recorded videos. Customers can sign up for a quarterly or annual subscription and then take a quiz to help Every Mother place them in a corresponding stage. Users can be placed among other women preparing for pregnancy or amid new moms.

Day one starts with educational content and foundational exercises, and users can enter their waist measurements to track progress. As time goes on, educational content regarding how to repair certain conditions becomes less and less, and foundation core exercises get longer. Full body workouts cap every day.

The company claims it is the only clinically proven workout to repair and resolve diastasis recti. Its first study was a retrospective with Weill Cornell published in 2013, and the next study will be a prospective trial done with HSS in NYC.

The company was profitable when it closed the deal in late January. The valuation, per Rapaport, was $9 million post-money. While the pandemic was not part of the company’s fundraising process, COVID-19 surely impacted the startup’s growth: new sign-ups grew more than 50% in April, per Rapaport.

When asked about how Every Mother differs from a free Zoom workout class, Rapaport, who is currently 37 weeks pregnant with child number three on the way, responded, “It isn’t just about being accessible, both from a medium and cost standpoint. It’s about giving women something that is safe, that works, and that they can actually follow and stick to.”

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7 VCs discuss how COVID-19 is changing the media startup landscape

The world has changed dramatically since May 2019 when we last surveyed venture capitalists about the trends they were seeing in media, entertainment and gaming.

Since then, COVID-19 and the resulting physical distancing measures have created plenty of demand for companies helping to inform and entertain us as we’re stuck at home. At the same time, there’s a dramatic reduction in ad spending, making it harder to monetize that consumer attention.

So we checked in a variety of top VCs about the new landscape, where they’re investing and what kind of advice they’re giving their portfolio companies.

Not all of them invest directly in what (paraphrasing Betaworks’ Matt Hartman) we might call media media — the companies whose business models revolve around content creation and advertising — but each of these investors are backing startups looking to change the way we stay connected and entertained.

Here’s who we surveyed:

  • Kevin Zhang (Partner, Upfront Ventures)
  • Pär-Jörgen (PJ) Pärson (General Partner, Northzone)
  • Vasu Kulkarn (Partner, Courtside Ventures)
  • MG Siegler (General Partner, GV)
  • Jana Messerschmidt (Partner, Lightspeed Venture Partners)
  • Matthew Hartman (Partner, Betaworks Ventures)
  • Gigi Levy-Weiss (Managing Partner, NFX)

The consensus? You can’t count on the ad business to recover in the next few months, but there are still opportunities for startups exploring new formats and new business models. And there’s still plenty of excitement about gaming and esports.

You can read their full responses, lightly edited, below.

Kevin Zhang, Upfront Ventures

What (if any) media trends are still exciting you from an investing perspective?

Live and interactive formats, especially shorter form, continue to be very exciting, made even more evident in this time of shelter-in-place. What has worked in China and broader Asia has not yet translated into explosive success in the West. As interesting as celebrity live broadcasts are from their homes, the lack of real interaction and participation features hampers long-term engagement and doesn’t make up for the lack of production quality.

Modern content production technology is needed to push both production and live ops cost down while enabling more interactive and engaging formats. Game engines are one example, there’s of course the Travis Scott concert that just happened in Fortnite built on the Unreal engine, but that 15-minute, pre-rendered show took months to create, we’re only just scratching the surface of what’s possible.

One of our investments in this space is Tellie for live-action formats, another is The Wave for rendered, live formats, and we continue to look for great combinations of tech and media talent innovating on new formats.

Speaking of gaming, multiplayer games continue to grow and grow exponentially, there is a lot to unpack in popular titles from new favorite Animal Crossing to classics like World of Warcraft to indie hits like For the King. They all have social cooperation as a core part of the game loop and design. I’d love to see more teams working on cooperative play and just overall a broader diversity in multiplayer experiences beyond purely competitive ones.

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