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I love 9 Months - Empowering Women to Make the Right Choices during Their Pregnancy and after

I love 9 Months has over 3400 downloads as on date. Their beta version was launched in April 2017 and the revised version was launched in November 2017.

I love 9 Months Team

In India, maternal wellness services are only available to a niche and rich population. To address the issue of accessibility and affordability of maternal wellness in India, a mobile application- ilove9months was launched in October 2016, so that every woman across India can have access to health and wellness services and information which has the ability to impact mom and baby’s health outcomes.

In October 2016, ilove9months was incorporated. They are a one-stop freemium mobile application catering to women across different phases of motherhood- from pre-conception to postpartum. The application features expertise, extensive evidence-based wellness information, curated content, and services, digitally, which is affordable, accessible and available. The user benefits are 4000+ plus minutes of pre-pregnancy, pregnancy and post-pregnancy exercise videos, antenatal class videos, blogs/tips/articles, doctor info, patient records, and a host of free trackers: pre-pregnancy- ovulation; pregnancy- due date tracker, fetal growth, kick tracker and contraction tracker; post-pregnancy- baby feeding tracker, diaper tracker, sleep tracker, immunization tracker and infant development checklist aimed at improving maternal and infant outcomes. The trained birth companions impart to women, support and knowledge they require during pregnancy, birth and postpartum

The app is constantly updated with new and exciting features and is available to download on Play Store and iStore.

In an interaction with BW Disrupt, Anjali Raj, Co-founder & COO, I love 9 Months shared details about her venture.

Unique Key Features:

  • There is 4000+ minutes of research-based curated fitness video content. These 9-18 minute DIY fitness videos have been designed in lines with guidelines of Amercian College Of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (ACOG) and National Health Portal of India (NHP), for improved maternal outcomes. There is no such content available in any media worldwide.
  • The mobile app facilitates seamless storage and integration of key indicators of pregnancy and infant care. This leads to the possibility of real-time monitoring of immunization and infant development data by the hospitals.
  • The app is personalised and allows digital sharing of confidential information between the client and the doctor.

Competitors and Differentiation

I love 9 Months does not have direct competition as it is digital. However, under offline services, indirect competitors are hospitals and birthing chains. Another key indirect online competitor is parenting websites and apps. However, this app is not just an information bank or a forum for a mother to follow through her pregnancy. But it is aimed at creating a behavioural change and towards improving healthcare utilization. The features of the app aid in identifying when and why it is necessary to go to the care provider. For example, the immunization tracker give you reminders, the kick calculator gives you warnings when baby kick counts are below normal for long periods of time etc.

Funding status & monetization

I love 9 Months is seed funded by the Kerala State Industrial Corporation. Currently, they are looking for angel investments and next round of seed funding to push the startup from development stage into the growth stage.

The application is a freemium app with subscriber growth through enterprise sales to corporates, hospitals & government. The monetization model is through subscription of premium services, white labels, home care services and e-commerce. Home care and e-commerce will be rolled out in the next phase of development.

Challenges faced

Lack of understanding of the positive relationship between wellness and maternal/infant health outcome is the core problem in India. Multiplying this core problem is lack of awareness, advocacy, access to information, facilities and skilled resources. This has been a challenge for ilove9months as a socio-behavioural change is required for large scale adoption of the product. The socio-behavioural change requires all partners in the ecosystem to work in co-operation for it to seamlessly happen. The hospitals need to advocate wellness, each individual needs to understand the importance and benefits of wellness, workplace policies needs to be supportive of women in this phase and governments need to support. The positive thing is that change is already happening and we can see that through our interactions and alliances within the ecosystem.

Secondly, India being a diverse nation has a lot of age-old tradition and norms including myths. Our challenge is to honour and blend age-old traditions with science, but keep myths at bay.

Funding, of course remains a challenge.

Customer Feedback

The response has been positive in all aspects of the ecosystem. Doctors and hospitals have validated the app and believe that maternal and child health outcomes can be improved by using ilove9months. Customer reviews of the app has been excellent with an average android rating of 4.6/5. Enterprises have been welcoming to the concept of using I love 9 Months to champion women wellness in their workplace.

Traction details

I love 9 Months has over 3400 downloads as on date. Their beta version was launched in April 2017 and the revised version was launched in November 2017.

I love 9 Months has 3 enterprise contracts within a month of launching their enterprise version and they are discussion with over 7 enterprises and hospitals.

Expansion plans

The organization has multiple levels of product development planned to span across the next 1 year. Some of them being launching the e-commerce products and adding fresh features to the mobile app.

They are focused on working with the state government to take the app to every nook and corner of the country that has basic internet coverage, to work with SHG’s to create birth companions at the grassroot level and they are already working with corporates to improve maternity wellness in the workplace.

Market size and opportunity

The Universal market is 45 million women annually in India in the three phases of motherhood- preparing for pregnancy, pregnant and post-pregnancy. Ilove9months looks at a target market at 30% of the universal market i.e. 13.5 million women across India annually.

MCC sector is growing at a rate of 38.73% CAGR and maternal wellness services are still at a nascent stage in India and are still niche and luxurious. Hence, the opportunity for new entrants is very high, offering potential for increased product offerings and market penetration.

Women of every economic strata are developing a holistic perspective on wellness and there is a shift towards prevention. Also, women are getting pregnant little late in urban India, bringing psychological and physiological challenges. Globalization leading to increased disposable income and exposure to western culture has led to high awareness levels in consumers. Increasing lifestyles diseases are leading to higher health consciousness and increase in healthcare spending. More importantly, Hospitals and Government are actively advocating Natural birth.

There is a sea of untapped opportunities for low-cost, affordable services for the mass population.

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