Why We Love Lovevery

October 28, 2021

and Invested in Its $100M Series C Round

by Tony Wan (Head of Investor Content) and Jennifer Carolan (General Partner)

Edtech is often associated with digital software. But during the earliest years of a child’s life, the most important technologies are often tangible, bonding parents and toddlers through touch, play and conversation.

Over the past six years, Lovevery has taken that idea from a thesis to Target store shelves, through its award-winning Play Kits and Gyms that have set a new bar for children’s products. Today, the company has over 220,000 active subscribers across more than 30 markets worldwide.

Now, as the Boise-based team takes its next steps — to new markets, with new services — we are incredibly thrilled to be supporting the company’s $100 million Series C round, led by TCG.

Silicon Valley can be a little skittish about backing physical consumer wares, especially in a market as crowded as children’s goods. A longtime friendship with Roderick Morris led us to a meeting with him and his co-founder Jessica Rolph in 2017, and we loved how they were going against the grain at the time. While everyone else was focused on developing digital content for toddlers, they understood the importance of tactile experiences to children’s development. They saw a gap in the market — and an opportunity to build a new lifestyle brand for parents seeking simple, delightful yet effective learning experiences for kids.

At Reach, we back companies that are rooted in research and evidence. This is where Lovevery began: with a dissertation that Rolph (who previously founded organic baby food maker HappyFamily) read on the neurological development of infants. Given how rapidly toddlers change — their brain connections develop faster in their first five years than at any other time of their lives — it was surprising that many parents struggle to find the right content and guidance to help them through those early, precious moments.

Lovevery co-founders Roderick Morris and Jessica Rolph

To help parents unlock this black box, she and Rod assembled a team of world-class educators, researchers and designers to blend Montessori, Waldorf and other developmental pedagogy into beautiful products, accompanied by books that help parents engage and understand their children in more attuned ways.

The result is a suite of activities and resources that have propelled Lovevery into one of the fastest-growing and most beloved early childhood brands, with more than 1 million Play Kits shipped in the last 12 months. Don’t take our word for it; check out its devoted followings on Instagram and TikTok. On the first day of their launch with Target, most items sold out within hours!

We first invested in Lovevery in 2018, again the following year, and again for this Series C round. Each time, the company exceeds business and community growth milestones, all while maintaining its commitment to quality and pedagogical rigor. The team builds product and content around the expertise of those who have spent their careers in child development.

Lovevery currently generates more than $100 million in annual subscriptions. But the company is just getting started. It is on its way to becoming a global name, as kits find their way into homes beyond the U.S., with significant penetration Canada, U.K. and Europe and Singapore.

We are also excited that the company is launching a new mobile app that will complement its play kits, and provide parents and caregivers with activity ideas, digestible research, live expert Q&As, and other resources tailored to a child’s developmental stage. And its growing library of Parent Courses is bringing practical, hands-on tips from child development experts to more families than ever.

Raising a child in the digital age can feel overwhelming. But the Lovevery team supports parents with empathy and thoughtfulness, in a tone that is neither preachy nor guilt-driven. They care deeply about the diverse representation of families across its ads, blog posts, books and videos, and work with customers to co-create materials that represent the diversity of their community, such as “Adela Comes Home,” a book about the Coeur d’Alene Nation.

“Sharing insights and connecting parents with experts has been central to our mission at Lovevery from the very beginning,” said Rolph. Since day one, the team has walked that talk on its way to becoming one of the biggest and most impactful businesses serving our littlest learners.