A Q&A with Citrus Lane CEO Mauria Finley. The Mountain View, California–based company was founded in 2011 and recently raised $5.1 million in Series A funding. Investors include GGV Capital and Greylock Partners.
SUB: Please describe what Citrus Lane is, and the value proposition you offer to families with infants and toddlers.
Finley: We offer parents and their kids a curated selection of products each month, to help make parenting a little less stressful and a little more fun. Each month a subscriber gets a box full of goodies for their baby, each selected especially for their child’s age and stage of development.
SUB: Who are your target users?
Finley: Our customers are parents of children aged from newborn to three years of age.
SUB: Who do you consider to be your competition?
Finley: We don’t think anyone is doing exactly what we do. If I had to name a competitor, I’d go big and say Target.
SUB: What differentiates Citrus Lane from the competition?
Finley: We curate our boxes very carefully, always keeping the child’s stage of development in mind. Our goal is to get the right products in parents’ hands at the moment their child needs it.
SUB: When was the company founded and what were the first steps you took in establishing it?
Finley: We raised money in March of 2011. The first step, of course, was finding and hiring a great team.
SUB: What was the inspiration behind the idea for Citrus Lane? Was there an ‘aha’ moment, or was the idea more gradual in developing?
Finley: Citrus Lane grew out of my own experience as a first-time mom, trying to find the right products for my baby.
SUB: What have the most significant obstacles been so far to building the company?
Finley: Keeping up with the demand for the boxes. In February we actually sold out and had to stop taking orders.
SUB: You just raised $5.1 million in Series A funding. How do you plan to use the funds?
Finley: We’re focusing on our community—we want to provide more ways for our Citrus Lane moms to connect and share their own tips and product recommendations.
SUB: Do you plan to raise more funding in the near future?
Finley: We’re not thinking about that right now—we’re focused on growing the business.
SUB: What are your goals for Citrus Lane over the next year or so?
Finley: We want to bring our boxes to many more parents all across the U.S., and give our customers more opportunities to purchase from us.
Citrus Lane – www.citruslane.com