Foursquare for Moms?

Moms are out and about just as much as 20-something urban hipsters. It’s just that instead of rendevousing with friends at bars, clubs and parties, they’re more likely looking for impromptu playdates at the park or Gymboree. They’re also surprisingly heavy mobile media users. So where’s the mommy-aimed Foursquare?
RedRover, a mobile app aimed at the smartphone-toting-mom crowd, may just be that app. Launched in February, the app is the brainchild of film producer and New York mom Kathryn Tucker. Since going live RedRover (named for the classic kids game) has generated over 30,000 downloads via Apple’s App Store. Tucker is planning to roll out a souped up version of the app on June 23rd, when it will also debut on Android devices.
The concept of RedRover is pretty simple: a social network comprised just of one’s closest friends — including those who moms are most likely to socialize with while toting their kids around. Users can check into to places they are — like the local playground — without alerting the whole world. And unlike other location-based apps, they can check into places and events they are planning to attend in the future, satisfying parents’ need to plan around kids’ packed schedules (or just their naps).
“Parents want to be connected to the people they care about,” said Tucker. “Facebook is everyone I’ve ever met. This is for the 30 or so people I really have in my life, who are actually local. And I love Foursquare, but it’s not for parents. They would never allow their location to be surfaced like that. That’s not how a parent lives.”
Tucker began working on RedRover last summer, when she raised some Series A funding from Stillwater. She’s just begun some pilot programs with publishers and advertisers with the hopes of monetizing Red Rover in the near future.
For example, RedRover features content from Time Out Kids, allowing users to discover and then check into events highlighted by the magazine’s staff.
On the ad front, Tucker is focusing on local businesses. RedRover features listings from Scribble Press, a growing chain of make-your-own-bookstores for kids in New York and Los Angeles. This summer Red Rover will launch its first of a series of ‘flash play dates’ — central gatherings for parents and kids — where brands like GoGo squeeZ  will provide entertainment and give away samples.
Tucker is also in discussions with several daily deals vendors to provide a series of customized offers aimed at the mom demographic.
“I don’t want to bombard people with ads,” said Tucker. “I want people on RedRover to have a relationship with a brand where they can get something back.”
The trick to attracting more brands is attracting more users, which Tucker admits is a challenge. RedRover isn’t as useful if none of your friends are using it.
But Tucker keeps adding features to make RedRover more useful. For example, users have begun posting listings of local businesses that have clean bathrooms, as well as restaurants that are kid friendly.
She’s also just posted a promotional video for the app featuring her friends and kids. “Moms are so busy, so time-starved that they feel like they don’t even have time to learn something like this. So we are trying to make it really easy to understand.”

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