Saturday, December 14th, 2013

Aimed at the fast growing and incredibly powerful parenting market, Adelaide start-up Mum Central today announced the launch of a new online portal and community:  A spin-off of the highly successful Australian Baby Bargains founded by Belinda Jennings in 2009, Mum Central offers parents a highly engaged digital community, combining practical parenting tips and advice across their searchable knowledgebase and general interest articles, recipes and giveaways.

The already booming community of mums (95% 18-45 female demographic), Australian Baby Bargains has just tipped 130,000 members, and has grown on average 46% each quarter, and almost tripling in the last 12 months. The start-up completed the ANZ Innovyz START accelerator in 2012 and recently graduated from the ANZ Innovyz BRIDGE program.  

According to research from Facebook, mothers with children under six years of age are checking Facebook 20% more often than the average Australian users, while BabyCenter reports that smartphone use amongst mothers is up 25% and tablets up 79%.  

Belinda Jennings, CEO of Mum Central, said: “Being a parent is incredibly challenging at the best of times and we've found that our community has been crying out for support. Mum Central is completely different to any other parenting site on the market, with a strong focus on the ‘Mum-to-Mum’ content provided on mobile and online platform. The site is driven by literally thousands of conversations we’ve been having with mums from all corners of the country over the past 3.5 years across social media, and hosting them on our easy-to-use searchable knowledgebank, putting knowledge at the fingertips of our members.

“As we expanded the Australian Baby Bargains network nationwide earlier this year, we recognised the demand for real advice, mum to mum. There’s something really powerful (and somewhat comforting) in another mum sharing her experiences, and most often telling you what worked for her. We’re putting that information into an easy-to-reach mobile platform with the answers at their fingertips.”

‘Hot Topics’ covered include childcare, pregnancy, conception, schooling, toilet training, holidays and much more. In addition the team at Mum Central will provide original editorial content, and access to special product offers, competitions as well as connecting to the Australian Baby Bargains e-trading platform.

Mrs Jennings commented: “As a first-time mum I turned online to seek the answers to the burning questions I had. My son had colic and breastfeeding was difficult so I used forums to try and connect and seek support from other parents.  I have never forgotten how powerful and comforting that was for me, and want to be able to provide that to future parents as we embrace the digital age of smartphones and tablets,” Jennings said, “The ability to tap into the advice and support of fellow mums who have ‘been there and done that’ in a safe and non-judgmental community is invaluable.”

After graduating from the inaugural ANZ Innovyz START start-up tech accelerator program, Mrs Jennings was hand-picked to participate in the invitation-only ANZ Innovyz BRIDGE program, recently culminating with her Graduation at “Demo Day” at the Adelaide Town Hall where she pitched to over 500 investors & industry stakeholders.

Revenue is currently derived through digital advertising packages to brands wanting to connect with our mums.  Past and present clients include Britax Safe n Sound, Aussie Farmers Direct, Oricom, Brauer and Sesame Street.  The Mum Central platform will allow us to diversify our revenue streams, tapping into brands who were not ideally wanting to advertise on a 'baby' or 'bargains' site yet were wanting to target our demographic. They can do that now through Mum Central, with an increased focus on product reviews, product sampling and numerous subscription models.

The company has just commenced raising further investment with its Series A Round. The opportunity for Mum Central is significant opportunity to tap into the $20bn parenting market, which is being strongly targeted for acquisition, taking into account NewsCorp’s $45m acquisition of Kid Spot in 2011 and Catch of the Day’s acquisition on Mumgo in 2012.

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