BBy is a startup fresh from the Y Combinator accelerator, out to revolutionize the baby-feeding game for mothers and nurses alike.
The health-tech company just raised a $3 million seed funding round led by Pioneer Fund (PIODX), 7G Bioventures, and Cathexis Ventures to revitalize the newborn nutrition industry by turning breast milk into powder. Using this process, BBy hopes to solve a handful of problems that have troubled caretakers for decades.
Breast milk is a critical food source for newborn babies. But keeping it readily available by storing it long-term poses a significant challenge. Freezing and rethawing baby bottles is a laborious and expensive process, especially for large hospitals. It requires highly-trained nurses to spend hours ensuring bottles don’t curdle, when their time could presumably be better spent elsewhere.
BBy is betting powdered breast milk could solve these issues. BBy’s solution works by using laser technology to turn donated breast milk into a powder for neonatal intensive care units, or NICU.
Once powdered, the breast milk can be easily stored at room temperature, similar to Frito-Lay’s (PEP) sterilized and shelf-stable Cheetos dust. Then, when a baby gets hungry, a nurse can mix the powder back into water, much like Nesquik (NSRGY). Notably, BBy says it is able to achieve this powdering process while retaining 100% of the milk’s nutrients.
Despite the many technological advancements made in the interim, hospitals and parents have been storing breast milk in the same inefficient way for 70 years. But it likely won’t stay the same for much longer.
BBy isn’t the only emerging company looking to expand the shelf life of breast milk — it joins the likes of It’s My Leche, Milkify, and Boobie Juice, to name a few. But unlike those startups, BBy caters to hospitals over consumers, looking to free up valuable time for NICU nurses and provide crucial nutrients to the newborns in their care.
Still, if BBy or a similar company does perfect the science of powdered breast milk, it likely won’t be long before parents find themselves packing a far lighter baby bag.
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