Axios Pro Exclusive Content

Exclusive: Harbor nabs $3.7M seed for better infant care

headshot
Feb 1, 2024
an illustration of hands holding a baby monitor and the screen is displaying ben franklin inside of a crib

Illustration: Tiffany Herring/Axios

Harbor, a direct-to-consumer baby monitor and remote nursing platform, raised $3.7 million in seed financing, CEO Kevin Lavelle tells Axios exclusively.

Why it matters: Harbor hopes to help parents optimize sleep training, which has demonstrated health benefits but can be expensive and hard to access.

Details: The round was led by Trust Ventures and joined by Morrison Seger and Capital Factory.

  • Additional individual investors included former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow and spouse Demi-Leigh Tebow; retired professional tennis player John Isner and spouse Madison Isner; NFL punter Thomas Morstead and spouse Lauren Morstead; and entrepreneurs Sam and Sara Sodine Parr.

How it works: Dallas-based Harbor's baby monitor — set to hit the market this month — includes a camera and monitor that communicate with each other and the cloud.

  • If power is disrupted, an alert flashes on screen, notifying parents. If connection is lost, the monitor defaults to turn back on.
  • The platform is WiFi-enabled, but the camera and monitor can also connect without needing the internet.

The intrigue: Harbor will also offer telehealth services for a monthly fee of $9, with remote-trained night nannies and pediatric nurses to help with sleep training.

  • That service also provides unlimited texts, phone calls and video calls with the company's director of nursing.
  • "We'll grow that team with additional nurses and infant care experts in the months ahead, but for now, it's nonmedical questions regarding sleep, feeding, wellness and postpartum care, given medical regulations," Lavelle says.
  • "We'll add full-blown medical telehealth as soon as we can."
  • The night nannies and nurses can work with multiple families at the same time remotely, the company says.

The big picture: Existing baby monitors on the market are bifurcated between WiFi-powered, camera-only systems that rely on a phone app, and radio-based cameras and monitors.

  • Lavelle says he started the company after buying the leading baby camera only to wake up one morning and realize it had lost connection with the corresponding app on his phone.
  • "App-based systems cannot be relied upon to be a true baby monitor," he says.

Meanwhile, given their high price, night nannies have primarily been a fixture of the affluent — with average costs ranging from $200 to $250 nightly.

  • "Families who hire night nannies or night nurses typically work with them for at least two months or longer, meaning hands-on sleep expertise is $10,000 to $25,000 per child," Lavelle says.
  • "We can offer this expertise at scale," he adds.

What's next: The company will continue to develop its hardware and add to its engineering team, with funds expected to last "well into 2025," Lavelle says.

Go deeper