Processing Your Payment

Please do not leave this page until complete. This can take a few moments.

Updated: March 4, 2024

Pumped up: Breastfeeding support platform pumpspotting is a fast-growing ‘femtech’ startup

Photo / Jim Neuger AmyVanHaren, founder and CEO of pumpspotting, leads a team of seven employees, including four in Maine.

“We’re here to pump you up.” Such is the welcome message on the pumpspotting app, a breastfeeding support platform for nursing mothers launched by AmyVanHaren in 2015.

A one-stop shop for expectant and new parents, pumpspotting comes in multiple versions starting with a free locator directing users to “mom-approved” places to nurse and pump. By upgrading to a premium subscription, users gain access to lactation consultants, personalized content and deeper levels of daily support during a time that can be isolating and scary for many first-time parents.

“We’re on a mission to increase breastfeeding confidence and improve maternal health outcomes, one feed at a time,” says VanHaren, a Kittery-based entrepreneur honored on the Mainebiz Next List in 2021.

The inspiration for starting the business grew out of her own frustrations as a new mom with a full-time job, from finding places to pump while travelling to packaging and sending breast milk home.

Her lightbulb moment came while sitting on a dirty bathroom floor at the San Francisco airport, wishing for a nicer place to pump and texting friends for advice: “Both the app, and the name, came to me in that moment,” she recalls. “I started imagining how we might use technology to create space for women on a feeding journey, and the play on words stuck.”

With more than 90,000 users to date in 16 countries, pumpspotting was a pioneer in the nascent femtech niche, even before Danish internet entrepreneur Ida Tin coined the term. Technology geared to women’s health is projected to becoming a $1 trillion market by 2027, and VanHaren is pumped to expand her business as the market grows.

“In some ways, we still feel like a startup because we’re in the right space to fit the right time and the market,” says VanHaren, who leads a team of seven employees, including four in Maine.

The team sells the service to employers on an annual subscription basis and via brokers, with pumpspotting bundled as part of a broader family benefit or parental package. Among the more than 60 companies that have joined forces with pumpspotting, Allagash Brewing Co. offers the app as an employee benefit.

“We’re excited about working with pumpspotting and are committed to making life as easy as possible for new families — and an effective lactation strategy is a big part of that,” says Celine Frueh, the Portland-based brewer’s human resources director.

We’re on a mission to increase breastfeeding confidence and improve maternal health outcomes, one feed at a time. 
Amy VanHaren, pumpspotting

Financial backers

In September 2023, pumpspotting raised $2.2 million in seed financing. bringing the startup’s fundraising total to $3.35 million.

The latest round was led by Sincere Corp., a Framingham, Mass.-based software development company whose founder and CEO Matt Douglas serves on pumpspotting’s board, and Maine Venture Fund. Both were also investors in a $1.15 million funding round two years ago.

“The decision to invest in pumpspotting started with Amy’s vision and leadership and extended to the product development strategy and the impact that the company could have with an underserved population in need of solutions,” says Joe Powers, Maine Venture Fund’s managing director. “Pumpspotting›s success has not only spurred job growth in Maine but also benefitted hundreds of women and their families across the state who are users of the product, not to mention the thousands of users outside of Maine.”

Among pumpspotting’s other investors, Maine Technology Institute has provided more than $550,000 since 2020, breaking down into more than $150,000 in grants, $150,000 in loans and $250,000 in equity financing.

“Pumpspotting is a unique and effective digital women’s health company that removes barriers around breastfeeding for both parents and employers,” says MTI President Brian Whitney. “It offers a solution that supports mothers and provides resources to companies to benefit their employees and customers.”

On the road again

Besides building relationships with medical equipment companies that offer insurance-covered pumps, pumpspotting’s 2024 goals include working with hospitals and health systems to provide lactation support and launching a third Breast Express nationwide bus tour, with a new vehicle.

At each stop, nursing moms will be invited inside to feed themselves and their infants while trying different pumps and baby products and conversing with other parents and experts. The “Boob Bus” 2.0 tour will start in Maine this summer and head west to California, pulling up at hospitals and workplaces for three or four days at a time.

“At a time when maternal health is in crisis, our solution is really needed,” says VanHaren. “To get our technology on the road and show up at workplaces for our customers, there’s a real magic that happens in a way that makes a lot of sense from both a business and impact level.”

VanHaren’s advice to today’s aspiring femtech entrepreneurs looking to start a business of their own: “Just get on the bus! The world needs more women and mother-centered solutions, so don’t be afraid to bring your unique vision to the world.”

Sign up for Enews

Related Content


Order a PDF