At Seedcamp, 40% of our team is a working mum. We understand firsthand the realities when it comes to life post giving birth and upon returning to work and are committed to providing a supportive environment for our team. With that in mind, we are very excited to lead investment into Peppy, the online marketplace out to radically improve postnatal support provided to parents in the UK. Peppy works with employers to provide access for their staff to postnatal support practitioners, ensuring their employees are supported post birth and able to return to work far more sustainably.
Peppy was founded last summer by Max, Mridula and Evan, three parents who all experienced the ‘Oh my God!!’ moment when they brought their babies home for the first time. Like many new parents nowadays, their families lived far away, and they had found little support in their local communities, following average budget cuts of 50% since 2010. Everyone seemed to be scrambling around on Google and Facebook groups to find expert support.
Having worked for large companies, the founders knew that leading employers are keen to differentiate themselves in a hyper-competitive market for talent. Employers who provide better support to new parents can attract, engage and retain the best staff, particularly working mums. They could even help to close the gender pay gap, which research shows expands rapidly after the birth of the first child. It soon became obvious that there was a gap in the market and Peppy was born.
On the investment, our Managing Partner and mum of two, Reshma Sohoni, comments:
“We are thrilled to back Peppy as a platform that companies can use to take care of their parent employees. When I became a mom for the first time I was shocked at the lack of access to quality support services, the huge cost and the temptation to leave the workforce. Distractions and distress for me were also a cost to my company and I wished at the time our company could have supported me better. With Peppy, the best companies can now do just that and ensure they support their greatest assets (people) in a time of their greatest need.”
The Peppy platform gives parents access to qualified and vetted lactation consultants, baby sleep consultants, physios for mums, paediatric physios, pre and postnatal exercise instructors and mental health practitioners. NCT antenatal courses and curated products like Elvie wifi breast pumps also feature.
“Too many mums and dads go it alone in the critical period immediately before and after the birth of a baby,” CEO Evan Harris explains. “Easy access to trusted and caring experts can make all the difference but until now they were too hard to find. We’re incredibly excited to help parents be the best they can be. Moving forward, we see huge opportunities to support people going through major life transitions such as childhood development, menopause and elderly care.”
Employers who sign-up to Peppy commit to provide expectant mums and dads with credit to spend on the platform (typically £500). Employees can then redeem money off the cost of practitioner appointments and products.
Peppy has partnered with the leading institutions in the parenting sector to refine the Peppy model. These include the National Childbirth Trust (NCT), the Lactation Consultants of Great Britain, the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and academics from Swansea University, Bournemouth University and London Business School.
The response from both parents and employers has been fantastic. Fifteen major employers, including Penguin Random House UK, Confederation of British Industry and Osborne Clark have joined the scheme pre-launch and there are many more in the pipeline.
For more information and to see how Peppy can support your organisation visit peppy.health