Startup Cleo Raises $10.5 Million Series A Round

On Wednesday, the parenting- support startup announced a $10.5 million Series A round to grow its platform that caters to expecting parents in the workforce.

The Series A round, led by VC firm, Greylock Partners, will finance the app’s development and help expand Cleo’s network of prenatal and postpartum experts.

“I think employers are seeing it as a holistic solution to show their employees what they care about culturally,” said Sarah Guo, Greylock general partner.

In 2017, the startup raised a seed round of $2.25 million led by Felicis Ventures and Forerunner Ventures. Cleo’s pre-valuation was $6.75 million following its seed round, according to Pitchbook.

Cofounders Shannon Spanhake and Chitra Akileswaran, a practicing OB/GYN, launched Cleo (then known as Lucy) at TechCrunch Disrupt in 2016.

Cleo acts as an extension of prenatal and postpartum care offered by employers to new and expecting parents at the company. Employees can virtually connect with health and financial counselors through the Cleo app or schedule in-person or at-home visits for guidance from pre-pregnancy through a child’s first birthday and beyond. Cleo’s network of experts includes certified lactation specialists, birth doulas, baby sleep consultants and career consultants to help new parents navigate what often is not covered by traditional healthcare providers.

Working with parents in 35 countries across finance, tech, legal and retail companies, Cleo has seen 93% of its client’s female employees using the service to aid their transition back to work. “We noticed that families look very different today. There is a rejection of the male breadwinner model and there aren’t really stay-at-home moms anymore,” said Spanhake.

Silicon Valley-based companies such as Pinterest, Slack, Reddit and Box are offering Cleo’s services to their employees.

Along with tips for caring for newborns, Cleo offers users access to career strategists, couples counseling and personal wellness professionals to help parents maintain their own health as well as that of the newest addition to the family. Cleo also assists its client’s employees on exploring options for adoption and surrogacy as well as financial planning for bringing home a new family member.


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