Pediatric App Huckleberry Raises $12.5 Million in a Telehealth Boom
Photo by Aditya Romansa on Unsplash

Pediatric App Huckleberry Raises $12.5 Million in a Telehealth Boom

When Jessica Toh had her first child, who proved to be an erratic sleeper, she wanted to use her background in computer science and statistics to understand why.

In 2017, she started Huckleberry, an app that aims to leverage AI to predict babies' sleep schedules and help caretakers get some rest.

The Irvine-based app announced it raised $12.5 million on Wednesday led by Morningside Ventures, a science-focused venture capital firm.


The Huckleberry app allows parents to track everything from feeding to pumping sessions, how often a diaper needs to be changed — and sleep. Parents plug in various information about their child, like when they were born and how many naps they take, and, leveraging data from other customers and the child's sleep schedule, the app predicts the optimal time to put a child down for a nap so they sleep better through the night.

Huckleberry app

"It allows parents to have more peace of mind and to plan better," said Toh, whose own baby woke every two to three hours for its first 20 months.

Toh says the app fills a gap in pediatric care. When parents take their newborns for frequent checkups, doctors are focusing on the growth and health of the child. But few resources exist for parents juggling a child's unpredictable sleep with work, personal relationships and their own mental health.

"If your child is waking up all the time at night, they're alive," Toh said. "That's the main concern here from the medical side. Now from a well-being side, it's not great."

Huckleberry is one of several biometric health apps that have grown in the absence of accessible acute care. Popularity in weight loss apps, exercise apps, sleep and habit-building apps have grown in the pandemic, according to Pitchbook.

"As more studies indicate that digital health apps can result in similar outcomes where traditional care may be unavailable, we expect the market for digital alternatives to remain robust," said Pitchbook analyst Kaia Cobain in a 2020 report on telehealth.

Huckleberry plans on expanding into new child behavioral verticals with the raise, like helping parents track exposing their children to allergens, and managing tantrums. The company works with dozens of sleep, nutrition and behavioral health experts to contextualize the data.

"It's just crazy — the more you get into it and the more you realize there are actually all these experts in these different areas, just most people don't have access to them," Toh said. "You need a very acute need before you can work with them. But the reality is that everybody has that kind of need to some degree."

Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.

Cadence
Behind Her Empirre

Dr. Mary Pardee has made gut health her life’s work, leading her to found Modrn Med, a telemedicine and virtual wellness company based in Sherman Oaks.

And it was her own personal experience with intestinal issues that led her to become the kind of doctor that wouldn’t tell her patients that “there’s nothing else we can do,” she told the Behind Her Empire podcast this week.

Read more Show less
Yasmin Nouri

Yasmin is the host of the "Behind Her Empire" podcast, focused on highlighting self-made women leaders and entrepreneurs and how they tackle their career, money, family and life.

Each episode covers their unique hero's journey and what it really takes to build an empire with key lessons learned along the way. The goal of the series is to empower you to see what's possible & inspire you to create financial freedom in your own life.

Pejman Nozad, a founding managing partner at Pear VC, joins this episode of LA Venture to discuss Pear VC's current initiatives, including its accelerator and fellowships. He's seen as one of the most successful angel investors in the area, and for good reason: he has made more than 300 investments in his lifetime.

Read more Show less
Minnie Ingersoll
Minnie Ingersoll is a partner at TenOneTen and host of the LA Venture podcast. Prior to TenOneTen, Minnie was the COO and co-founder of $100M+ Shift.com, an online marketplace for used cars. Minnie started her career as an early product manager at Google. Minnie studied Computer Science at Stanford and has an MBA from HBS. She recently moved back to L.A. after 20+ years in the Bay Area and is excited to be a part of the growing tech ecosystem of Southern California. In her space time, Minnie surfs baby waves and raises baby people.
RELATEDTRENDING
LA TECH JOBS
interchangeLA