When Sivareena’s cousin underwent a miscarriage in the 4th month of her pregnancy, her entire family went through a period of mental distress. This incident had a great impact on her and therefore, she decided to help women during their motherhood. She and her team met 200-250 expecting mothers at hospitals in front of gynecologist chambers and connected them together on WhatsApp over a group. They let it run for 5 months and observed what kind of support they were seeking from each other. When the WhatsApp group started crossing 100,000 conversations a month, Sivareena decided to go full time and built a pregnancy application by PregBuddy, which is the first peer-to-peer instant reassurance platform for expecting mothers based on their location, trimester, language, region, and past medical conditions.
“As we worked more and more in this space, we also found out how there is a gap of a continuum of care between a gynecologist and their expecting patients which is when we built our second product called Connected Care for doctors,” says Sivareena Sarika.
PregBuddy which is now one of the fastest growing healthcare startups in India. It’s a care continuum platform between doctors and their expecting patients throughout their 9 months of pregnancy.
Sivareena says, “We’ve helped over 60,000 expecting mothers so far. Every day we’ve at least 100 mothers who are delivering their babies after using PregBuddy. Customers share their photographs with their babies, thanking us for being an amazing buddy for them throughout their pregnancy. This is the most gratifying feeling for all of us. We’ve grown organically to over 60K expecting mothers and over 5Mn conversations. Google selected us for their first cohort of Solve for India and its Launchpad Build program. We’ve been awarded by actor Akshay Kumar, Asian Business Angel Forum, Economic Times & Government of India for our work so far.”
Born in Visakhapatnam, Sivareena has lived in different parts of India. She studied mechanical engineering at IIT Kharagpur and then went to work with Furlenco before co-founding Pregbuddy in 2017.
“Thanks to my dad being in Indian Navy, I grew up learning different Indian cultures that made me more adaptable by nature and making new friends came extremely easy for me. Since childhood, I have been overly enthusiastic about exploring new things and traveling,” says Sivareena.
PregBuddy has been completely bootstrapped for 1.5 years and they make money through usual B2C models for consumers products.
“Entrepreneurship in itself comes with an indefinite set of challenges like hiring the right team, getting the right investors, onboarding more customers and more. It becomes a lonely journey until you find the right co-founders, right mentors and constant peer to peer support who makes this journey easier. Thankfully, I’ve been able to build a strong network in the startup community.”
“When I and my team started getting recognized by Google, Facebook, NASSCOM etc, I got connected to more and more communities of entrepreneurs. This network helped me build my business, my team, onboard the best angel investors and advisors and get access to resources from Google & Facebook.”
Sivareena believes in “grabbing an opportunity which is difficult to recreate in future”.
“Life keeps giving you options, some are easy to decide and some makes you think about what you really want to be. Choosing the path which you think is difficult to get again will help you stay on your toes and work harder to be better.”
“While starting up, a mantra that helps me get going is “to be bold & ask”. The worse outcome would be a no. The startup ecosystem is so mature that everyone in this journey understands the challenges and are open to help. One cannot be an expert in all fields and the gaps are filled in by asking this network,” says Sivareena.
Sharing an incident, she further says,
“A few months back, an expecting mother used PregBuddy from her delivery bed during her 12-hour long labor. She reached out to our community and got constant peer emotional support throughout her labor. She delivered a healthy baby and was thankful for our community and PregBuddy for the support and reassurance. This was a very gratifying moment for me.”
Sivareena is passionate about the healthcare space and the possibilities to bring about a positive change in people’s lives. With PregBuddy, she aims to improve the lives of over 10 mn mothers throughout their journey of motherhood by 2020.