4moms

What can be more parent-friendly than baby gear that opens and collapses with the touch of a button?

4moms is pushing and building the right buttons to be sure. Last week the Strip District maker of infant products announced it had raised $41 million for future product development and company growth.

The latest round of funding comes from Newton, Mass.-based Castanea Partners with additional investment from Bain Capital, a previous investor that had doled out $20 million to 4moms in August 2012.

Is the success of 4moms a harbinger of greater things to come?

“The recent investment round into 4moms is a testament to the distinctive consumer brand they’ve created for juvenile products,” says Rich Lunak, CEO of Innovation Works. “This financing round should help propel the company to even greater levels of growth and hopefully position the company for a significant exit or even an IPO.”

Since its founding in 2005, 4moms has been redefining the $8.9 billion juvenile products market with its advanced robotics technology engineered by co-founder Henry Thorne. From its first power-folding stroller to an infant seat that sways with the motion of a mother’s arms, 4moms has undergone dramatic growth. Its products are sold in more than 2000 retail locations in the U.S. and in 52 countries.

4 moms has one of the largest investment dollar hauls in the region, having raised more than $80 million since its inception. Others who have landed major funding are data storage company Avere, $72 million to date, and language learning app Duolingo, $38.3 million.

4moms has 124 employees and is committed to staying in the region. Earlier this year, The Elmhurst Group announced the company will move downtown into the Fiserv building, 81,000 square-feet of newly renovated space at 912 Fort Duquesne Boulevard.

4moms is also working with software simulation company ANSYS, based in Southpointe, on the testing and fine-tuning of its products, which is done in addition to in-house testing.

Two new products were unveiled last week at a consumer show in Las Vegas: the next generation of the Breeze playard that features the same 1-step functionality but is 6 pounds lighter and the new mamaRoo with an updated look and bluetooth capability.  The new mamaRoo will be available in January 2015 and the updated Breeze will be available in Q2 of 2015.

Two other products in production are a lighter weight, power-folding stroller called the Origami Go and an infant car seat that installs and inspects itself in the car while giving parents an LCD confirmation that it is safely in place. Both will go on sale late 2015.

Deb Smit

Deb is an award-winning journalist who loves ancient places and cool technologies. A former daily newspaper reporter and Time-Life Books editor, she writes mostly about Pittsburgh. Her stories have appeared...