Since the term was coined in 2016, femtech, a sub-sector in health technology dedicated to creating solutions that address female wellbeing continues to gain traction and attract VC funding globally. In Africa, however, the space is still very much in its budding phase. This segment is dedicated to telling stories of innovators, their solutions, the investors and challenges of the sector as it blooms in the continent.
Kenya-based maternal care and e-commerce platform MumsVillage has announced a merger with BabyBliss Nigeria. The new business entity from the merger, Bliss Group, is set to become a pan-African omnichannel e-commerce platform for maternal and child care products.
MumsVillage launched in 2015 as an online community to support pregnant women and parents in Kenya on their motherhood and parenting journeys. Under CEO, Isis Nyong’o-Madison, MumsVillage, through multimedia content distributed through digital channels, has amassed a dedicated audience by providing quality information around parenting, healthcare, as well as family-oriented events and services.
In 2019, it launched its e-commerce arm, MumsVillageShop, to leverage on the trust of the community to provide access to a wide range of quality maternal and baby products from global brands including Johnson & Johnson, Cussons and Aveeno among others. Its foray into e-commerce came after it participated in the Unilever DFID Transform, Alibaba eFounders Fellowship and Gray Matters Capital Calibrators digital accelerators program.
With the merger, MumsVillage will be taking advantage of BabyBliss Nigeria’s deep retail and e-commerce experience in Africa’s largest economy to expand its retail presence and distribution network across the continent.
BabyBliss Nigeria was founded in 2017 and retails products for expectant mothers and their babies from local and international manufacturers/suppliers. According to a statement announcing the merger, the company is said to have recorded a 100% growth rate in the past year and has received funding support from 440.ng, a venture capital firm founded by investor and Decagon founder, Chika Nwobi.
“I’m excited to lead this new entity into meeting the changing needs of African women and showing that they are indeed a market that cannot be ignored,” says Group CEO, Isis Nyong’o Madison.
According to Madison, when MumsVillage launched five years ago, the goal was to not only provide access to quality parenting information and maternal/child care products to women in Kenya but also across the continent. The merger with BabyBliss offers MumsVillage the opportunity to scale beyond Kenya.
“Bliss Group will leverage on our networks, learnings and reach to convert the financial opportunity that exists into reality by delivering not just greater shareholder value for our investors but looking to build a real powerhouse with women at the helm,” she added.
The Bliss Group Company will be co-headquartered in Kenya and Nigeria and in the immediate MumsVillage will be broadening its online inventory for its audience.
“MumsVillage has been on a mission to empower women to make informed decisions through quality information and products they discover online,” says Kenyan CEO, Millicent Muigai.
“It is exciting that through this merger, the reach and combined experience both entities provide will enable us to provide a great Pan-African experience to African pregnant women and mothers to make informed choices for their family’s well-being.”