Munich Startup: What does your startup do? What problem are you solving?
Lesido: Lesido is a streaming service for digital picture books with an integrated video chat feature. It not only gives parents access to hundreds of top-quality children’s books, but also makes it possible for grandparents to read the books aloud from any distance through video. It brings families together, promotes the development of children, and lets grandmas and grandpas act as tele-babysitters so parents can have a break.
Munich Startup: But that’s nothing out of the box!
Lesido: We’re actually the first in Europe! And when it comes to content, we’re seriously focused on quality. For example, we already have major German publishing houses on our platform, such as Klett, Loewe and Bastei Lübbe. We also have international treats to offer, from countries such as India and the UK, that celebrated their German premiere with us! That definitely makes Lesido unique. On top of that, anonymous data helps us and our publishers develop even better content for children, which is yet another USP.
Munich Startup: What is your founding story?
Lesido: Our founder Janina is a working mother with two small children and their grandparents all live far away. She also knows how important it is to read to children for their early development. So she wondered if it could be possible for the grandparents to read aloud to her little tots from afar in order to give her a break. Without further ado, she built a prototype with PDFs and Zoom. It worked really well and her friends and family were instantly on board! But she then quickly ran out of books, and since Zoom simply isn’t the right tool for calls between grandparents and grandkids, a new solution needed to be found! Janina’s mom now reads to her grandkids almost every day with Lesido, which obviously provides a welcome break in the daily life of a founder!
Lesido gives Ukrainian families free access to children’s books
Munich Startup: What have been your biggest challenges so far?
Lesido: After reading about how difficult it is for Ukrainian refugees abroad to find children’s books in their native language, we decided to translate our app and as many books as possible into Ukrainian. It was a genuine feat both in technical and organizational terms, but that now makes us all the more delighted about being able to give Ukrainian families free access to Lesido.
Munich Startup: Where would you like to be in one year, and where in five years?
Lesido: In one year, we want to be the hot topic of conversation in daycare and kindergartens in the German-speaking region. In five years, children around the world will discover their passion for reading with Lesido.
Munich Startup: How have you experienced Munich as a startup location so far?
Lesido: Munich is simply wonderful! As a startup, we enjoy the high quality of living and the access to so many fantastic institutions. For example, we’ve been part of the Media Lab Bayern incubator for several months now.
Munich Startup: Risk or security?
Lesido: Because children use Lesido, security and trust are extremely important to us. That’s why we don’t have any subscription traps, and we pay very special attention to data protection and high-quality content that is suitable for children. On the other hand as founders, we’ve given up well-paid jobs, which is obviously very risky for us personally, but that’s a risk we’re very happy to take.