Lamabang, China’s biggest mobile social network for women, has attracted 60 million users and a valuation of USD one billion.
Lamabang attained unicorn status after its last USD 100 million round of funding led by VIPshop, a flash-sales platform for luxury goods, in March 2015.
Lamabang (hot mom posse) is a social network for moms and to-be moms. Lamabang is split into forums called “bang”, or posses, for groups of users with interests such as slimming, makeup, cooking, sexual health, and even dealing with mistresses. Lamabang also has a Weibo-like platform where moms can post text or pictures of themselves and of their kids.
The platform also provides content on different pregnancy concerns, as well as a Q&A section where users can go to experts for advice. Launched in May 2012, Lamabang claims to have 60 million users. According to CEO Jin Zan, its user group is mostly young moms in the post-80s and post-90s generations.
What started out as a social network became a springboard from which to launch an entire product ecosystem, including an exhaustive e-commerce branch. Lamabang’s affiliate Lamahui is a platform selling everything from baby products, children’s clothes, and household products to beauty products and clothing for mothers. Its other e-store, Lamall, holds flash sales for personal care products, food, children’s clothes and baby products. Lamabang also acquired group-buying app Hehua Baby in May 2015 to bolster these two e-commerce products.
Lamabang also has several apps including Pregnancy Companion, one of the company’s flagship products. Pregnancy Companion is an app that follows mothers through each day of pregnancy, giving information about the different stages. Users can also use it to interact with other moms and ask for advice from experts.
According to CEO Jin Zan, in the future, the company aims to grow into a one-stop service for moms to completely fulfill their needs. He hopes to use big data analysis to create a personalized experience for each user.
“This app will help you solve all your problems during the ten months of pregnancy, but ten thousand users may face ten thousand different kinds of problems. If we can personalize our product to meet the needs of different users, that’s what this industry needs,” he said at the 2016 Mother Baby E-commerce Summit in January.
The company plans to move into the healthcare sector with products like medicine or smart products for pregnant women. It’s also holding extensive offline promotions in hospitals, hoping to get to its potential user base before competitors do.
There are already many e-commerce platforms in China targeting mothers and babies. Among them, special sales platform Beibei and import flash sales platform Miyabaobei have also reached valuations of USD one billion, but neither is as comprehensive as Lamabang’s “ecosystem” of products.
With the government’s new birth policy allowing all couples to have two children initiated at the beginning of this year, many see potential in the mother-and-child market. According to a forecast from Analysys, the market may have been as big as USD 244 billion last year, and it’s expected to more than double by 2020.