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Founded by CEO Flavia Deutsch and COO Paula Crespi, the young Brazilian startup recently raised R$7 million (more than US$1.7 million) to develop its parental support platform. Funds will reportedly go towards producing and testing the technology.
Still in the early stages, Theia is on its way to becoming a network where parents can receive professional advice. Scheduled to go live in 2020, the company already has some major investors. Accompanying Kaszek Ventures in this recent round were the female-led VC fund Maya Capital as well as angel investors.
The purpose of Theia is to make life easier for parents trying to balance their domestic responsibilities and work lives. Via chats or video calls, users will reportedly be able to access a variety of support services through the platform. This includes easy access to psychologists, doctors, nurses, among other professionals.
According to the COO, this process will involve managing plenty of data.
“We will leverage data to significantly change the experience around parenting and work,” said Crespi, who is currently expecting her first child. “No one should feel alone in raising children. We will be the network these families need, anticipating needs and bringing practicality, support and resolutions to the issues they face.”
Another component of the business model is to collaborate with companies where parents work. Similar to Gympass’ B2B arrangement, the vision is for employers to subscribe to Theia. Under this model, businesses could be more capable of taking care of their employees and their families.
This way, Theia will “promote diversity, productivity and employee engagement,” according to Deutsch.
Both Deutsch and Crespi bring varied professional experience to the table. Originally, they met while pursuing MBAs at Standford University. Upon completion, Deutsch reportedly went off to work at Acesso and Crespi at Guiabolso.
Since both are mothers, they mutually identified opportunities to maintain careers and parenthood.
“We saw that reconciling career and family was difficult, especially for women,” said Deutsch, who is a mother of two. “We wanted to create a business that would solve this pain.”
The two entrepreneurs came up with this concept just this year. So far, they have studied the market, validated their proposal with customers, and even earned backing from VC funds.
In Deutsch’s opinion, a lot of stress surrounding being a full-time parent and working professional comes from your head.
“The main challenge is the psychological pressure you put on yourself, and there are no supportive initiatives in business,” she said. “It is impossible to be at work as if you have no child, or being at home as if you have no work. But we want to bring more balance to moms and dads.”
Over time, the founders imagine Theia to be a particularly useful tool for fellow working women and mothers.
“We believe this support will create more balance, thus greater retention and rise of women in the labor market,” said Crespi.