Parent tech startup Onoco raises £150,000 to prevent childcare frustrations and fragmented support

Dec 16, 2021

Margaret Zablocka founded Onoco in 2020, realising offerings to support parents through children’s early years were causing confusion and unfit for modern-day family setups.

Onoco, the parenting app designed to help organise families through planning, documenting infant care and tracking their development, has raised £150,000 from Jenson Funding Partners as part of an ongoing pre-seed round. The funding comes as demand for parent tech has spiked, with US companies in the sector raising $1.4bn in 2021 alone – over the total investment amount accumulated in the four years prior.

Margaret Zablocka founded Onoco in 2020, inspired as a mother of two experiencing how fragmented support is for parents wanting to keep on top of their baby’s progression from newborn to schoolchild. With individual services and sites for tracking sleep, managing nutrition, detailing activities and understanding milestones, Margaret realised this segregated market caused parents frustration and confusion.

Leveraging her econometrics education and subsequent product delivery career, which saw her lead product management at financial firms and the likes of Paddy Power and Betfair, Margaret launched Onoco believing she could evolve the parent tech space by merging her professional skills with her personal experiences. Using the Early Years Foundations Framework as a measurement tool, Margaret desired to join the dots to create a collaborative super-app. The end result is a family hub accessible to children’s caregivers, which supports modern family setups to move from the outdated idea of stay-at-home-mums and working dads.

Upon completion, the pre-seed round will enhance the existing product with an AI algorithm as part of Onoco Premium. The AI will be capable of analysing a baby’s habits to predict when they’re likely to be tired, as well as generating a customised schedule with supportive tips. New hires will also be made to grow the tech and marketing teams within the business which, in addition to Margaret, is led by CTO Oskar Dylewski, an experienced Technical Lead at  Palantir Technologies, and CMO Aida Bejgane, Starling Bank’s former head of paid acquisition.

With a sector-agnostic approach to investment, Jenson Funding Partners understands how to find scalable propositions that can solve genuine problems. That, combined with ongoing support of women-led startups – 18% of Jenson’s backed businesses have a female founder; greater than the 2.3% of VC capital that went to women in the broader market – made the pairing with Onoco a natural fit.

Margaret Zablocka, founder and CEO of Onoco, says: “When I first became a mother, I discovered parent tech wasn’t adapted to my needs. When I became a mum for the second time, I decided to apply my skills to develop a solution to help parents like me; those with a busy schedule who want to support their child’s development every day. As such, parents will also have access to the necessary information should they need to share it with a midwife or other health or childcare professionals.

“Every family is different – there are families made of just one mum and those made of two mums or two dads, while other families are the combination of two divorced families or have grandparents heavily present in a child’s upbringing. The saying goes: It takes a village to raise a child, so we want Onoco to be that village. We are going to uniquely apply the power of AI to enhance our prediction tools and improve family communication and baby’s development.”

Jeffrey Faustin, CIO at Jenson Funding Partners, added: “We’re thrilled to be leading the investment in Onoco. Margaret is working towards an incredibly important shift into how society thinks about childcare and the roles and responsibilities of caregivers within each family. As evidenced, interest in the parent tech sector is on the rise and we’re excited to be a part of it with such a forward-thinking business.”

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