LullaFeed

NIH-Backed Tech for Babies

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Company Information

Website:

https://lullafeed.com/

Sector:

Baby Supplies

Location:

Louisville, KY

Three out of five infants struggle with feeding. But all babies need to eat. So, what’s the solution?

LullaFeed has come up with one. It’s created the world’s first patented music-powered feeding solution. This device attaches to the bottom of a baby bottle and recognizes when babies are feeding from it. It then plays soothing lullabies to encourage babies to keep eating.

This approach isn’t some random attempt at successful feeding. LullaFeed’s business is built on thirty years of clinical research. And it’s led by award-winning neonatal founders with more than two decades of experience feeding infants and helping parents.

Perhaps surprisingly, technology isn’t only for adults or kids. It’s even for babies. That’s why the baby-tech industry has become valued at $197 billion.

When it comes to feeding, many parents struggle to get their babies the proper food and nutrition they need. An estimated fifty-seven percent of children experience feeding challenges, especially among those that are born prematurely or with a developmental delay.

Parents are often left to fend for themselves, trying trial-and-error troubleshooting options (different bottles, different nipples, etc.). In some cases, they end up admitting their child to the emergency room because things get so bad.

Co-founders Michael Detmer and Rebekah Gossom saw these issues first-hand working in neonatal intensive care units. And that’s what inspired them to start LullaFeed.

As mentioned, LullaFeed’s device provides research-based lullaby music that is synchronized to the baby’s feeding pattern. This device works in concert with the company’s mobile app, which offers insights and analytics for caregivers to track progress.

The LullaFeed device contains multiple sensors used to detect infant feeding patterns, and when feeding is detected, a lullaby or even the parent’s pre-recorded voice plays back to the infant via an embedded speaker to reward and encourage the baby to feed.

Simply put, if the baby drinks, they’ll hear their parent’s lullaby. If they stop, so does the lullaby. Because infants are attentive to and seek their parents’ voices, they learn to keep eating to keep the music on, thus strengthening their neurologic and oral motor systems for feeding.

Using the app, parents can select from favorite lullabies and even record themselves singing along with them. The app includes a rhythmic vibration of the phone ensuring singing is done at a tempo of sixty beats per minute, which matches a baby’s average suck rate of one suck per second.

Furthermore, the app enables parents to track how feedings are improving, how much milk their baby took, how long feedings are taking, and how many successful feeds were given each day.

LullaFeed is currently marketed as a consumer-health product. At $79.99 retail, it’s more affordable than other sensors or similar tracking devices. And at its current cost of goods, this price yields a sixty-six percent gross margin.

After gaining traction, LullaFeed aims to create a medical-device version that will be used in hospitals and help feed the tiniest and sickest of infants. The company will target neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) and outpatient feeding clinics.

LullaFeed is backed by Render Capital, Cato Neonatal Innovations, and the Kentucky Science & Technology Corporation. It’s also raised $150,000 from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and was a finalist invited to present at NIH’s Proof-of-Concept showcase.

LullaFeed has won five startup pitch competitions and built a baby-ready minimum viable product of its device. It’s in the process of alpha trials with parents. The company has also received one patent and has another patent pending.

Team Background

Michael Detmer - Chief Executive Officer

Michael is a board-certified music therapist with a specialty in neonatal intensive care. He has more than eight years of clinical and research experience on infant behavior and development.

In addition to his role with LullaFeed, he is Associate Vice President of AccentCare, a nationwide healthcare provider. He’s also a founding member of Parenthood Ventures, a hub of parent-focused tech startups.

Previously, Michael was a fellow at the National Institute for Infant & Child Medical Music Therapy, a provider of lectures and hands-on training of NICU music therapy and developmental care. Before that, he was an adjunct professor at the University of Louisville, teaching undergraduate music therapy.

Early in his career, he was a music therapist with Norton Healthcare, a regional healthcare company in Louisville, Kentucky. Prior to that, he was a programs and education coordinator at the University of Kansas.

Michael holds a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Illinois State University and a Master’s degree in Music Therapy from the University of Kansas.

Rebekah Gossom - Chief Clinical Officer

Rebekah is a speech-language pathologist and infant-feeding specialist. She has more than twenty years of experience feeding infants and helping parents in NICUs and feeding clinics.

Her entire experience stems from twenty-one years with Norton Healthcare, a regional healthcare provider in Kentucky.

She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Disorders from Eastern Kentucky University and a Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Louisville.

Co-Investors

National Institutes of Health

An agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the NIH is the primary agency of the United States government responsible for biomedical and health-related research. The NIH both conducts its own scientific research through its Intramural Research Program (IRP) and provides major biomedical research funding to non-NIH research facilities through its Extramural Research Program.

Render Capital

A venture-capital fund investing in early-stage startups based in the Midwest and South.

Raising
$500K
Committed
$185.315K (37%)
Current Valuation
$4 million Cap / 0% Discount
Min. Investment
$100
Deal Type
Title III
(For all investors)
Offering Type
SAFE
Finance History
  • $430K
    2024-02-01
    Unknown
  • $125K
    2021-10-01
    Unknown
Notable Investors
  • National Institutes of Health
  • Render Capital
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