Hearth Display, a hardware company making digital whiteboards for family task management, has raised $4.6 million in additional funding. The round, which is a bridge round, has a mix of existing and new investors including Female Founders Fund, Stellation Capital, Sweater Ventures, Behind Genius Ventures, an SPV led by Golden Hour Ventures and Dream Ventures, and Ingeborg Investments.
The founders, Mei Lin Ng, Susie Harrison, and Nathalie Stratton, told TechCrunch over a call that the new round also bumped up the company’s valuation by 60%. They didn’t give details about the exact valuation amount. With the latest funding, Hearth Display has raised $7.7 million to date.
“We were looking at investors who are understanding of us being an early-stage startup and what it looks like to get first activation metrics versus investors for a Series A round, who would be focused on scaling,” the founder said about not going for a Series A round.
Hearth Display is a 27-inch digital whiteboard for families to manage their tasks. Parents can add tasks through email or a text-based assistant, and assign chores to kids as well. Apart from the hardware, the company also sells a $9-per-month subscription for access to features such as to-dos and kids’ routines.
Last year, the company ran an Indiegogo campaign to onboard early customers by selling them the product for $499. The founders said that more than 1,000 customers participated in the project and Hearth has fulfilled all those orders.
The founders said that the new raise would help to ship the product faster. In May, the startup opened up pre-orders on its own site for $599 per unit with slots for over 3,000 customers. During the call, the founders said that they had already started shipping those orders and aimed to complete them by the end of the year.
The company’s product is currently in more than 1,200 households and more than 3,500 people are using it. Hearth aims to open up orders again in December and close the gap from pre-sales to delivery.
The startup said that it is currently manufacturing the product in Asia, but it will likely change with scale to diversify the supply chain.
At the moment, the company is sticking to a pre-ordering model given the current state of the economy as it allows them to forecast demand and do a production run based on that.
In terms of platform, the company hasn’t made any changes. The founders said the startup is already leveraging AI to extract information from things like PDFs and printouts. However, it is exploring new features in the AI realm while being cautious as the product is exposed to kids.
“We have been able to learn so much about interactions that are happening inside the family in terms of person to person, household management, routines of kids. We have been able to start building our own model based on that information. The way we are looking to use that is by introducing some predictive workflow for families,” the founders said.