Babymigo: technology for Africa’s new parents
With infant mortality rates on the rise in Nigeria, mostly due to a lack of doctors in rural areas, entrepreneur Adeloye Olanrewaju wanted to see if he could use tech to figure out a solution. This led him to start Babymigo, an online community that connects expecting and new mothers to resources, doctors, experts and other services
Babymigo was recently part of Google Developers Launchpad Accelerator in Nigeria, a three-month program that provides mentorship and support to early-stage startups. With seven acceleration programs and 338 startup alumni, we at Launchpad have seen firsthand how global entrepreneurs are using technology and startup innovation to solve the world’s biggest problems.
In a new spotlight series called “Ideas to Reality,” we aim to share the stories of these founders and their startups through videos and written case studies. In our first installment, we talk to Adeloye about why he started Babymigo, and where he hopes it will be in the next few years.
When did you first come up with the idea for Babymigo?
My aunt lost her baby due to complications arising from childbirth. Those complications could have been avoided if she had access to the right healthcare information. Unfortunately, her story is not a unique one.
Today in Nigeria, more than 7 million babies are born every year, but the country still has the third highest infant mortality rate in the world. To make matters worse, nearly 60,000 mothers lose their lives each year due to complications arising from childbirth.
When I started my career working at a maternity clinic, I saw that the biggest problem mothers faced was poor access to verified health care professionals and healthcare information. I wanted to help and felt tech was my way to do it. So I quit my job and started Babymigo, to use technology to solve these challenges.
How does Babymigo use tech to combat infant mortality?
We are the first and only platform that increases access to informed health decisions via SMS, an app and a web portal. Our goal is to help expecting mothers get their questions answered by hyperlocal medical and child care experts. Today, our services have reached more than 100,000 users. We are looking to reach 1 million mothers by the end of 2020.
What steps did you take to make bring your idea to life?
I first found as many users as I could, and then conducted extensive research to better understand the problems they faced and what solutions they really needed. This saved us valuable time, allowing us to focus on the most important features our users wanted.
The Google Launchpad Accelerator was a big opportunity to diagnose our company. With the help of experts and experienced mentors, we were able to increase user growth and retention by about 20%. Being a part of Launchpad also brought us media exposure and significant investor interest. With Google supporting us, we saw a dramatic rise in the confidence of our investors and clients.
Google products are at the center of building our platform. Through Firebase Cloud Messaging, we send notification messages to drive user retention. We also use Google Analytics to better understand our customers, using its insights to take action, such as improving our website.
Any advice for future entrepreneurs?
Building a tech startup is a rollercoaster, so developing a strong mental resilience is key. Nothing can replace persistence. Surround yourself with thinkers who push you. At Launchpad I had the chance to be challenged by my peers at every turn. Find a network that will guide you in the same way.