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Imagine a world where postpartum care is comfortable, affordable, and sustainable. At Lilu, we’re on a mission to redefine every mother’s breastfeeding and pumping journey so the joy of motherhood isn’t overshadowed by pain and discomfort, and is instead enriched with seamless, integrated care.
The benefits of breastfeeding are well documented, and the evidence in its favor is compelling: a breastfed child is at a much lower risk of obesity, diabetes, and infections. Breastfeeding is also associated with cognitive benefits, with studies showing higher IQ among exclusively breastfed children. The benefits extend beyond the baby’s health, as breastfeeding even lowers the risk of certain kinds of cancers in moms.
Despite all the research, breastfeeding and breast pumping are among the hardest things new moms will ever do. Moms still need to rely on antiquated breast pumping technology that hasn’t seen disruption in decades. The result? 80% of babies are breastfed for less than the recommended time of 2 years.
This is where Lilu comes in.
We’re achieving this through two complementary lines of smart products to help alleviate both the physical and mental challenges around breastfeeding and breast pumping.
Our Omni Breast Pump and MilkSense systems are designed by women, backed by science, rigorously tested, and enthusiastically endorsed by over 2,500 moms and over 300 lactation experts.
PASSIONATE ENTREPRENEURS AT THE HELM
We’re Adriana C. Vázquez Ortiz and Sujay Suresh Kumar, engineers from MIT and Penn and we’re the founders of Lilu. We hail from Mexico and India respectively and we met during our graduate programs at UPenn where we were labmates working on creative robotics projects together.
Having seen many of our friends and colleagues struggle and feel disappointed with breast pump tech, we set out to learn more about the challenges of breastfeeding. After spending hundreds of hours in research, speaking with hundreds of moms in person and surveying thousands more, we discovered several prominent pain points with breastfeeding and breast pumping. We were appalled to see that breast pump tech was severely outdated. We became deeply passionate about making life easier for new moms by creating the products of tomorrow.
In fact, motherhood can be stressful, exhausting, painful, and confusing.
Given the enormous health benefits for baby and mom, the choice to breastfeed seems simple, but it’s not. The WHO recommends that a child be breastfed for 2 years. However, less than 25% of infants are exclusively breastfed for 6 months.
These numbers might be staggering, but they’re not surprising. 70% of moms need to go back to work 6-8 weeks postpartum. When they are away from their babies, they have to rely on outdated, inefficient breast pumps to continue to produce milk, and constantly worry about whether or not they are producing enough. Research shows that over 95% of breastfeeding moms use breast pumps during their lactation journey, during which they confront a number of challenges.
The #1 reason why so many moms quit breastfeeding is because they find pumping too difficult, time-consuming, and painful. You’d think with such a critical need, moms would be offered adequate solutions yet breast pumping technology hasn’t changed in almost 30 years!
CURRENT PUMPING TECH HAS WAYS TO GO TO TRULY MEET MOMS NEEDS
Pumping isn’t as efficient as a baby nursing, so over 2/3 of moms rely on breast massage to produce enough milk to feed their babies. This is supported by science. Research from Stanford Children’s Hospital showed that breast massage while pumping can result in 50% more milk per session and increase milk production in the long run.
However, given that moms pump 5-6 times on average each day, constantly massaging their breasts is exhausting and simply unsustainable.
Another major issue affecting breastfeeding mothers is not knowing, day-to-day, whether their baby is getting enough milk.
With the current technology, there are only two ways to track this data:
(1) Baby scales, which are impractical for everyday, on-the-go motherhood.
(2) Apps to manually input how much milk a mom has pumped, which can be inaccurate and fail to provide any insights when moms directly breastfeed their baby.
For any mother who’s been there, not knowing if your baby is getting what they need can cause tremendous anxiety, and in turn lead to a decrease in milk supply (hormones related to stress actually inhibit lactation). A startling 40% of new moms suffer from postpartum mood disorders — and breastfeeding and pumping challenges are significant contributors to these mental health challenges.
The challenges of pumping and uncertainty of supply are hard for new mothers, both logistically and emotionally. Moms feel personally responsible for their breastfeeding challenges, when a lot of this can be attributed to how utterly lacking current breast pump tech is in its efficacy.
Moms also feel isolated and overwhelmed trying to figure out breastfeeding and pumping on their own, making early motherhood even more challenging.
So at Lilu, we asked ourselves: how can we make breastfeeding and pumping easier and give new moms peace of mind?
At Lilu, our goal is to make breastfeeding and pumping more comfortable, efficient, and pain-free. To take significant strides toward accomplishing this goal, Lilu is bringing the Omni Breast Pump to moms everywhere.
Omni is the ultimate wearable breast pump with built-in massage patented massage technology to mimic the massage techniques recommended by lactation experts and to help moms produce up to 55% more milk. It is the first truly complete breastfeeding solution designed to make pumping more comfortable, efficient, discreet, and hassle free.
Our patented massage innovation was thoroughly vetted and validated through our beta product: the Lilu Massager + Bra, the first ever truly hands-free pumping bra with built-in massage. Not only did our massage technology increase moms' milk production by 30-55%, it also reduced pumping time, pain, and risk of common infections like mastitis.
Tested with hundreds of moms during thousands of pumping sessions, and now trusted by over 2,500 moms in their breastfeeding journey, our patented massage technology is proven to be highly effective.
The Lilu Massager + Bra was a success and clearly proved we were on to something big. Some accomplishments include:
Many moms who were about to quit breastfeeding, said the Lilu Massager + Bra is what enabled them to continue to breastfeed their babies and it even helped some moms relactate.
Having achieved technical validation and early product market fit through the beta product, the Lilu Massager + Bra, we are now ready to evolve. With a solid understanding of potential blockers to scale, we used a robust, customer-inclusive framework to design the most viable product possible. This led us to combine our massage tech with a wearable, hands-free breast pump to create the Omni Breast Pump.
The Omni is ready to launch Q3 2024 and we know that moms want this product. We vetted customer demand for the Omni through validation tests which showed 15-20x improved acquisition costs (CAC) compared to the beta product.
From rapid user adoption, glowing reviews, and the grants and awards received, we know our massage innovation offers major improvements to the outdated industry. The Lilu Massager + Bra proved that with the right technology, moms can pump smarter, not harder, and the Omni Breast Pump will make it even easier.
With all the insights gathered from our first product, we have uncovered a pressing need — improving breastfeeding and pumping is critical to decrease the risk of postpartum mood disorders which affect over 40% of new moms. That’s why we set out to tackle the uncertainty of milk supply to help moms with their feelings of overwhelm, isolation, and anxiety.
With a $1.25M grant from the National Science Foundation we created the MilkSense Bra + App.
The MilkSense Bra + App is the first technology to provide real-time tracking of breastmilk supply while also caring for the overall physical and mental health of moms – since they can’t take care of their baby if they don’t first take care of their own selves.
As moms feed their baby or pump, the cutting edge sensors embedded in our bra collect information about their breast milk production, expression, breathing, stress levels, movement, and sleep to provide them with holistic insights about their lactation via our mobile app.
After a few sessions, MilkSense can provide precise estimations of a baby's milk consumption during breastfeeding for a full picture of their feeding. It’s designed to help moms understand their breast milk production, visualize trends, and learn what tools and tweaks work to make lactation easier. The app also features an AI Chatbot for expert guidance to further support Lilu moms.
More importantly, MilkSense breaks the cycle of overwhelm, isolation, and anxiety, giving moms a companion to support their personal lactation journey. It’s a major step toward helping the mental health of millions of new moms around the world.
The MilkSense Bra is ready to launch in 2025; we are currently rolling our the beta version of the App with the full scale launch planned for Q1 2024.
Designed as complementary products, the MilkSense Bra + App unlocks powerful lactation insights to optimize breastfeeding and pumping routines, while the Omni Breast Pump System increases breast milk output with less pain and discomfort.
Used together, they are powerful solutions to Lilu’s initial goal: how can we make it easier, more efficient and give new moms peace of mind?
Lilu has a strong, diverse team with experience across Engineering, Computer Science, Product Design, Marketing, Business Development, and Sales in the maternal health industry. We have proven that we are capable of transforming the $5B breast pump industry!
Sujay Suresh Kumar, Co-founder & Co-CEO, is an engineer whose work lies in the intersection of technology and women’s health. He has a Master’s in Electrical Engineering from University of Pennsylvania. At the High Energy Physics Group at UPenn, he designed the circuits for the ATLAS experiment, CERN. Prior to Lilu, Sujay co-founded Jyothi, a nonprofit organization in India, to help survivors of harassment and rape by offering them a platform to voice their grievances anonymously and access self defense and mental health workshops. He also worked at Reliance Jio Infocomm, where he was an integral part of the team that launched 4G in India. Sujay spent 2 years in Shenzhen, China, vetting and working closely with manufacturers to bring the Lilu Massager Bra to market and he is an advocate and thought leader in innovation for women’s health. He was named in the Forbes 30under30 list in 2022.
Adriana Vazquez Ortiz, Co-founder & Co-CEO, is a product designer with a keen sense for listening to users and understanding their needs. She received her Master’s in Integrated Product Design at the University of Pennsylvania and a BS degree from MIT in Math with Computer Science. Adriana has experience in Project Management and Software Development at Morgan Stanley, algorithmic research at BMW and UX Design at a NYC Health and Lifestyle startup. She has been named one of the top 30 Femtech Healthcare Influencers in 2019 and has won awards such as the SheKnows BlogHer competition (2019) and the AlphaLabGear Hardware cup (2018). Adriana has represented Lilu at SXSW, and TechCrunch Battlefield; She is aTory Burch fellow and has won several awards for Lilu.
Ragini Kothari, Product Engineer, has a background in biomedical engineering with experience in early-stage and post-launch R&D for wearable medical devices, particularly in women's health. She holds an MS from Columbia University and is driven by a commitment to improving healthcare and outcomes for underserved communities.
Jesse Potash, Business Operations, is classically trained in finance and began his career on Wall Street at JPMorgan Chase and BlackRock. He later transitioned to consulting before launching a pioneering ecommerce brand, backed by prominent investors. Following a successful exit, he led ops at a series C real estate tech startup, helping the brand achieve operating profitability at scale.
LiAn Delos Reyes, Social Media and Community, is a Certified Breastfeeding Specialist and founder of Milksta, a pro-momma and pro-breastfeeding wellness brand. As a passionate proponent for prioritizing customer needs, she harnesses her global viewpoints to guide Milksta and Lilu's community, two brands unwavering in their dedication to supporting maternal health and promoting breastfeeding advocacy.
Menka Patel, Business Development, has a background in economics and she was the Business Development Senior Director - International at Kate Spade for over 9 years. She is an expert in the global market.
We have an incredible board of advisors that bring a wealth of knowledge in medicine, manufacturing, and sales:
We also have a powerful group of backers funding our journey.
The maternal health market is large and growing, with ample opportunity for additional market capture through Lilu’s innovations.
While we do have competitors in some aspects of our product line, no one else offers a comprehensive solution to breastfeeding and pumping challenges. More importantly, we have a first mover advantage in the smart bra field with our MilkSense Bra + App.
Our products are protected by multiple patents, we have rigorous support from the lactation community, and we have an all-star team ready to disrupt the industry.
With our remarkable traction, we have:
We’ve come a long way since our inception in 2017 and only $1.3M in dilutive funding from investors. Imagine the mountains we can scale with this raise.
Both Omni and MilkSense have strong unit economics in the D2C and wholesale spheres.
The Lactation Insights App offers a freemium model with future opportunities to provide additional value-added services to our customers, allowing them to choose the level of support they need on their journey.
Looking into the future, the femtech industry has shown a precedent for lucrative exits in the maternal health space. Innovative mom tech companies have been scaling rapidly; pump companies like Elvie and Willow have raised over $150M and Maven recently became a unicorn. Yet many problems with maternal health, especially when it comes to breast pumping still remain unaddressed.
With our comprehensive product line, strong unit economics and an omni-channel strategy, we are well poised for growth.
Our innovations have the potential to re-write the narratives for moms around the globe. With Lilu's technology, some of the hardest things moms will ever do become easier and more sustainable. Our Omni Breast Pump System and MilkSense + App can help moms continue to provide milk for their babies while also caring for themselves.
We’re raising capital to launch our next generation of breastfeeding and pumping products. We're raising on Wefunder since we want to give our community, supporters, and moms everywhere a chance to invest in Lilu and share in our upside!
Right now your support is amplified: We have an opportunity from the National Science Foundation to apply for $700K in matching funding upon closing this round(matching funding up to $500k from this round and an additional $200K in grant funding)! So, if you want to be a part of this mission and make a positive impact on the lives of moms around the world, join us now.
We hope you join us on our mission to empower breastfeeding moms because they deserve more. We CAN make it easier and give new moms peace of mind by providing them with the tools to take control of breastfeeding!
 World Health Organization
 Center for Disease Control Breastfeeding Report Card
 Mamava Breastfeeding Survey
 Lilu's internal survey with 550 moms
 Combining hand techniques with electric pumping increases milk production in mothers of preterm infants by J Morton, J Y Hall, R J Wong, L Thairu, W E Benitz, W D Rhine
 Psychosocial stress and cortisol stress reactivity predict breast milk composition by Anna Ziomkiewicz, Magdalena Babiszewska, Anna Apanasewicz, Magdalena Piosek, Patrycja Wychowaniec, Agnieszka Cierniak, Olga Barbarska, Marek Szołtysik, Dariusz Danel & Szymon Wichary
 Prevalence of self-reported postpartum depressive symptoms – 17 states, 2004–2005. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2008;57(14):361–366