Raising children is challenging at the best of times, but the isolation and stress that parents experience have only been heightened during the global pandemic with many realising they have little or no help.
That's why Berlin-based startup Mello has launched a newly designed app that aims to help parents build strong local support networks online and in the real world.
It launches on the App Store and Google Play with a new visual identity by Studio Skulptur that communicates their purpose of "helping families find their village". Users can browse through profiles of parents who live nearby, connect via chat, and organise spontaneous meetups, stroller walks, and playground hangouts.
Mello started as a childcare exchange app called SitEinander (meaning "sit each other" in English) that functioned as a digital babysitting co-op. "We wanted to help families who were struggling without a proper social support network. Soon it became clear that the problem was bigger than just childcare and our solution was only tackling a tiny part of it," says Anna-Lena Gerber, Mello's founder and CEO. "We widened our focus towards helping families make connections with other parents in their neighbourhoods for all kinds of needs – playground dates, friendships, and of course, also babysitting swaps."
Gerber explains: "We needed a brand that fit the new focus of our app and that could grow with us. The brand had to be polished and consistent to leverage trust and let parents know we're here for them."
Studio Skulptur's identity for Mello aims to convey the sense of ease and joy that community support provides young parents. "We love working with passionate founders who are driven by a desire to leave a positive impact on the world. We were inspired by the Mello team's community-focused values and their ability to use technology to help families form real-life support networks," says Lana Belton, a partner at Studio Skulptur. "Parenting is challenging at the best of times, but the problems that Mello is tackling have been amplified during Coronavirus. We were delighted to help create a brand that could positively impact families struggling with the increased isolation and anxiety that the crisis brought with it."
Mello is currently available in Berlin and will soon be launching in other major German cities. Next year, it plans to expand globally.