The Mom Project, A Job Site For Moms Returning To Work Raises $8M From Initialized
Chicago-based startup The Mom Project, a platform specifically built to help female knowledge workers find jobs after pausing to raise kids, has raised a little egg of its own to take on this challenge. It’s picked up a Series A of $8 million that it plans to use to bring its job marketplace to more cities — it’s currently in Chicago, Atlanta, and San Francisco — and to expand the kinds of services it offers to make the challenge of juggling work and parenthood easier.
The Series A funding is being led by Grotech Ventures and Initialized Capital, with another new investor, Aspect Ventures, and previous backers Atlanta Seed Company, Engage Ventures, OCA Ventures, BBG Ventures, IrishAngels, and Wintrust Financial also participating. This brings the total raised by The Mom Project to $11 million, and with 75,000 registered moms and 1,000 companies, including Procter & Gamble, BP, Miller Coors, and AT&T, the startup claims it’s now the largest platform of its kind in the U.S.
Allison Robinson, the founder, and CEO of The Mom Project said she came up with the idea for the startup in 2016 when she was on maternity leave from a strategy role at Pampers.
“I started realizing a lot about moms before I became one,” she says about her last role before striking out as an entrepreneur. “But what I hadn’t understood until I was on maternity leave myself was that your priorities could change after having a child.” (She’s pictured up above with her son.)
Robinson referenced a study from Harvard Business Review that estimated 43 percent of professional women exit the workforce after having children. She realized there was a gap in the market for those among them who had timed out from returning to their previous roles but still wanted to make the leap back into working at some point.
Women who want to return to work face all of the usual issues like needing more time and flexibility, wondering whether their skills are still current enough, general confidence and so on, but the average recruitment process, and job sites overall, do not have concrete ways to account for any of that.
This troublesome gap also exists on the employer side of the marketplace. Both large corporations and smaller businesses have started rethinking how they hire and keep good people in the overall competition for talent. (Just this week, the U.K.’s Office of National Statistics said that the number of unfilled positions in the information and communication technology sector rose by 24.3 percent compared to last year in the country, a shortage that’s reflected in other markets.)
“The Mom Project is determined to create a future where women aren’t forced to choose between their families and their careers,” said Alda Leu Dennis, a partner at Initialized Capital and new Mom Project board member, in a statement. “There is a huge pool of experienced talent, parents, and non-parents, that is sometimes overlooked because companies haven’t created the kind of diverse, flexible workplace culture that attracts and retains them. Initialized wants to be part of making this cultural shift happen.”
On the parent side, not only is it also about making the platform known to people who are considering a return to work, but it’s also about some fundamental, but essential basics, such as giving would-be jobseekers the flexibility to go to interviews. Robinson said that one campaign it’s about to launch, in partnership with Urban Sitter, is to provide free childcare credits to Mom Project jobseekers so that they can get to their interview.
“Sometimes you have to go to an interview with 24 hours’ notice, and lining up a sitter can be stressful,” she said. “We want to alleviate that.”
The Mom Project recently reached the finals of the WORLDZ Launchpad competition at WORLDZ 2018. LaunchPad is a startup competition seeking to unearth the next big thing where some of the world’s top CEO’s provide valuable feedback as twelve coveted semifinalists pitch their business visions and goals. The $8 Million Series A round received by The Mom Project was led by Initialized Capital which was Co-Founded by 2017 WORLDZ Master, Alexis Ohanian, who is also the co-founder of Reddit.