Found in 2009, Mamashi is a social network for mothers and fathers to talk about their experience in raising children. Many mothers started from the day they got pregnant.
“There is a nature need for parents to recording the everyday changes of their babies,” said Tracy Ji, founder and president of the Beijing startup. Most of the post (text and photos) are about the everyday life of the their’ children, good or bad, fun or not-so-interesting.
Graduated in Peking University, studying Chinese, Tracy was co-founder of HiPiHi, which was trying to make “Second Life”, the 3D virtual reality game, in China. Before that, she was director of product at Founder, a Chinese PC maker. And she also worked at Zhaopin.com, a Chinese leading recruitment site, for HR and PR.
Currently, Mamashi has over 100,000 registered users. 50% are of the age 25-34 years old. Less than 7% are over 35 years old. “People born after 1980 are more inclined to use internet. They like social network such as Weibo. So when they become parents, they naturally use social networks to record their children’s daily life,” said Tracy, “For the older generation, they are not used to express themselves with social network.”
Apart from the typical blogs and photos, Mamashi recently also started publishing books using the content of its social network. An art teacher who has a two years old child became one of the first authors of such books.
The publisher is state-owned Post and Telecom Press. “We started the discussion with Post and Telecom Press last October, and in January they decided to cooperate with us and they also invested in us,” said Tracy.
The company has started making a revenue. Apart from selling books, it is also developing other channels to monetize its digital content. “We will share the revenue with the authors,” said Tracy, “currently, for publishing, most revenue is still from books. But we expect next year, our revenue from digital content will be the same as publishing the tradictional books.”
Besides publishing, it also offer some paid services and derives revenue from eCommerce. “We allows our users to see what other users with similar background are buying. And we get some revenue from a partnership with Taobao,” said Tracy.
The company has about 20 staff at the moment. Tracy expects it to break-even next year. It will raise another round of funding soon. “Our investor, Post and Telecom Press, hopes there will be a more experienced venture capital firm to back the company,” said Tracy.
Apart from Mamashai, popular Chinese websites about raising children include BabyTree and Yaolan. BabyTree was founded in Beijing in 2007. Yaolan was also founded in Beijing, in 1999. Yaolan has over 3 million users.