UAE – Dubai start up, Hoopla,  has developed an app specialized in promoting mental wellness among children and parents.

Founded by Jacqueline Perrottet, Hoopla pioneers an innovative blend of playfulness and mental well-being through its app, which aims to navigate big emotions with positive screen time.

The app, currently exclusive to Apple iOS, champions activities centered on mindfulness, meditation, movement, and breathing, fostering emotional regulation and bonding moments for families.

 Perrottet, a mother of two daughters aged five and seven, recognized the need for accessible tools to aid emotional regulation during stressful moments, leading to the inception of Hoopla in March 2023.

“Our mission is to provide affordable, engaging tools that promote emotional regulation and social development, crucial skills for children,” says Perrottet, emphasizing the app’s focus on breaking negative emotional cycles and nurturing healthy habits.

Hoopla’s immersive experience utilizes phone vibrations to animate characters, engaging children through sound and tactile sensations. 

With five characters representing different emotions, the app aims to energize, induce calmness, or facilitate sleep routines, while fostering a bond between parents and children through shared activities.

The app’s content targets children aged three to eight and their parents, prioritizing prevention rather than treatment of mental health issues. 

Market traction extends primarily to the US, with growing interest from the UK, Australia, Canada, and the UAE.

“Our approach is to infuse joy and playfulness into mental wellness, fostering engagement and learning,” Perrottet explains, contrasting Hoopla’s light-hearted tone with traditional mental health apps’ reactive nature.

Operating on a subscription model, Hoopla charges US$12.99 monthly or US$45 annually. It aims to expand its user base and drive conversion from installations to registered users.

However, Hoopla faces challenges inherent in digital parenting, notably screen time management and mental health concerns.

 Addressing parental apprehension, Perrottet stresses Hoopla’s parent-led design, offering mindful screen time that fosters connection rather than distraction.

“We want to transform screen time into a shared activity that strengthens the parent-child bond,” Perrottet asserts, advocating for a shift from smartphone reliance to mindful engagement.

Amid aspirations for growth, Hoopla seeks US$500,000 in funding to propel its expansion. While investor interest exists, the startup targets revenue milestones to attract substantial investment.

With plans to turn a profit by October, Hoopla aims to scale its impact, fostering emotional resilience and family bonding in an increasingly digital world.

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