The brainchild of Sarah Ouellette and Barry Hanley, Kindora is helping families buy the best items for their kids without costing the earth.

“The dilemma parents find themselves in with a new baby is that the best brands and items are expensive, have limited use life given the growth of a child but no parent wants to compromise on quality or safety,” explained co-founder Oullette.

“On average, parents are spending over €10,000 in the first year of a child’s life and the waste that is created at the end is staggering.

“With more than 4m babies born in the EU annually, there is an opportunity to create an affordable, sustainable alternative with a premium circular economy”

Oulette said that aim is to establish Kindora as Europe’s best marketplace to buy, sell and rent premium baby and kids goods. 

A safe and affordable marketplace for kids’ goods

“With more than 4m babies born in the EU annually, there is an opportunity to create an affordable, sustainable alternative with a premium circular economy.

“We curate the items added to the collection, we screen each item for quality and safety and hospital grade clean each item before it is sent to the buyer. 

“Sellers can submit their goods to be assessed by Kindora and once approved, we do all the heavy lifting of listing, marketing, selling, managing the transaction with the buyer. On average we sell items for 60pc to 80pc of their original price.

“Once sold, we collect the item, screen and clean it and send it off to a new home. Sellers are charged a commission on the sale and we sell faster than other general marketplaces with no hassle or haggling for the seller.

A better way to buy for your kids

Sarah Ouellette and Barry Hanley are the founders who between them have over 25 years of global experience in digital businesses such as Google, Lonely Planet, CNN and also in the start-up side with travel and edutech.

As parents themselves, Sarah and Barry saw the need first hand for a better way to buy the best products for their kids. 

As fans of enhanced marketplaces like Swappie and Vestiaire Collective, they saw the model was adaptable to baby goods.

More diversity is needed

Whilst Ireland is the pilot market for Kindora before launching across Europe in late 2021, it has been a welcoming one for this type of product. 

“We recently won Enterprise Nation’s Irish Start Up of the Year, which was in partnership with Enterprise Ireland, and we’ve had significant support from various organisations like the local LEO office.

“My only frustration is a lack of diversity in the ecosystem as Kindora is focused on being a platform for all types of families. We’d love to have more angel investors, advisors and general insight from women, LGBTQ+, PoC in the Irish start-up community.

Coming to Europe

She explained that Kindora is currently looking for another angel investor right now to join two who have been involved even before the platform launched.

“Our goal is to push our Irish pilot to learn as much as possible before launching across Europe later this year. We’re anticipating a seed round before the end of the year to support this effort.”

Kindora intentionally went live in November with an MVP (minimum viable product) of the platform to do real world testing and process improvements. 

“We’ve learned quickly how to manage logistics, source sellers and products and manage our workshop strategy much more effectively.”

Her advice to fellow founders is to realise that time is everything. “Don’t overthink it before you put something out into the market. Plan, be ready to make decisions, be open to all information and to challenge your assumptions but don’t wait until you have everything figured out to launch something. Research and data can inform your decisions on what to build but until it is tested in the market and you can adjust, it is all theoretical.”

“Our tech stack is mostly SaaS (Software as a Service)products like Hubspot and Woocommerce but we anticipate a much more complex set of tools being used in the next 12 months as we grow and build out new features like AI, multi-language and personalisation.”

Like most start-ups, Kindora is making the most of cloud technologies to stay agile. “We are using a lot of simple yet effective tools right now. Hotjar is a great tool for us to see how we can continuously improve the user experience of the platform.

By John Kennedy (john.kennedy3@boi.com)

Published: 18 February 2021

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