“If your child sleeps better, you do too!” says this startup from Ecuador.
I am delighted to bring out on PAC Talks, this startup story from Ecuador. In an interesting conversation with Francisco, he shared about the idea which is now an App that is improving the physical and emotional health of thousands of children worldwide.
“It was Daniela’s idea. Daniela Vega is my co-founder , my wife and we are a couple doing this venture. It is 100% her idea“ said Francisco during the interview.
You can watch the complete interview here:
Daniela Vega found the technique of massage combined with story telling and music to be an effective way to put their kids to sleep and develop a good bonding. So they felt that this can help other parents and kids as well.
“Most of the families find this App useful in reducing the time taken for putting their kids to sleep. But then there are varied set of users. There was this family in Spain. Their kid hardly used to sleep for 1-2 hr a day, as his brain was not releasing Melatonin. The parents had a horrible time and finally after using Story Book App , they managed to get him sleep through out the night. Parents whose children have ADHD, autism, etc. have also appreciated Story Book. In addition to this, there are kids who do not allow even their parents to touch them. They managed to hug their child for the first time , courtesy our App” added Francisco speaking about the different user experiences.
“We created this App without knowing even a single line of Coding” added Francisco. The couple quit their jobs to get fully involved in this venture. They hired as well as partnered with developers to bring out the idea in to life.
StoryBook is now 2.5 years old Startup and is been used by parents / kids in more than 150 countries.
Francisco adds ‘Story Book is the only App in the world which brings together infant massaging techniques, story and music. For many reasons it is not recommended to have screen time before going to bed. So this is an App, parents will use and kids will listen.”
Simple but powerful app.
“The massage techniques used in this App are inspired by Shantala massage, Indian massage for babies. We are taking this mainstream through Story Book. Ultimately, it is not how well you do the technique but it is to show the physical love and affection to your kids, that creates a stronger bonding. So it is about enjoying and having fun with kids.” says Francisco while answering if any expertise is required for performing the massage.
“Who doesn’t enjoy a massage?” asks Francisco with a smile. Indeed it helps to relax.
Massage also aid in producing oxytocin hormone, the hormone of love and happiness, and it reduces the stress hormone – cortisol. Melatonin, the hormone that helps to fall asleep, will also be released during this activity.
Getting the name of the brand is one of the key factors in the startup journey. Francisco admitted that though he had the complex matrix on his mind but it was easy to finalize the name. Story Book is a widely used word and easily connects with the users.
He added that ‘When you search Play Store or App Store , chances are that you will find us first on the list.’ Story Book has more than 500k downloads in Play Store.
Currently English, Spanish and Portuguese languages are supported by Story Book. They are planning to add 2 more languages by mid of 2021 & additional 4-5 languages next year as well. Though the majority of the users are Spanish speaking but in the last few months there has been a shift to US English.
55% of users have kids 3 years or younger & the rest of 45% range from 4 to 12 years.
While speaking about retaining the users, he mentioned that for higher age group, the kids are the ones asking their parents to use the App. But for the parents to actually understand the benefits , he suggests them to use this for at least 10 days.
The App has an option of free trial, free limited content, monthly and annual paid subscription.
Story Book, which started as a bootstrapped startup, got their first external investment from Jaison Calacanis, founder of Launch. Jaison has assisted Story Book by getting few more investors to put their money on this parenting tech solution.
Francisco, while taking about the immediate plans, emphasized on adding more features and stories to Story Book App. There are plans to look at gamification as well as getting some renowned celebrities to do the voice over for the stories.
They have plans to grow into a 300 Mn community in the coming years.
At a time when parents are WFH and kids are having higher screen time, Apps like Story Book definitely help in many ways including the reduction in screen time and developing a higher bonding.
It is amazing to see couples like Daniela and Francisco, taking decision to quit their jobs, go through the hardships of startup ecosystem and finally climbing the success ladder.
“We prepare for everything in life, for work, for a college, you prepare for everything but you do not prepare to be a Parent. In that if you are a parent, you will know that it is the single most important task .” – a simple but important fact shared by Francisco.
You can read more about Story Book App here.