From algorithms that predict the success of in-vitro fertilization to fertility benefits programs, women’s reproductive health companies cover a wide swath of health services. While male fertility companies have typically brought in the lions share of funding, women’s fertility companies saw lots of interest from investors in the last two years, culminating in large funding rounds and digital health company Progyny’s October IPO, where it raised a total of $130 million.
If Progyny succeeds, it may carve a path for more fertility benefits companies in the future. In no particular order, here are five startups worth watching in 2020:
- CEO: David Schlanger
- Headquarters: New York
- Investors: Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers (KPCB), TPG Biotech and SR One
Fertility benefits company Progyny has performed well since it went public in October. Of all the digital health startups that went public last year, Silicon Valley Bank wrote that Progyny’s stock had performed the best, now valued at $29 per share from its IPO price of $13 per share.
Progyny has created a fertility benefits program that gives patients access to a network of provider clinics, a pharmacy for treatments and a fertility expert. At the time of its IPO, more than 80 companies used Progyny’s service. However, the company was still operating at an $8.2 million net loss for the quarter ending in September, according to its most recent quarterly filing with the SEC. It’s worth watching to see if more companies will buy into Progyny’s fertility benefits in the long run.
- CEO: Mylene Yao
- Headquarters: Los Altos, California
- Investors: Rethink Impact
In-vitro fertilization can be a big bet. The costly procedures often aren’t covered by insurance, and on top of that, success rates can vary widely. Univfy is trying to make that risk more manageable for patients, by using machine learning algorithms to give patients and idea of the probability of success. The company also partners with clinics to offer rebate or refund programs if IVF efforts fail.
The startup, founded by Ob/Gyn Mylene Yao, raised a $6 million series A round in 2018. Since then, the company has struck a partnership with BBVA bank to allow patients to finance fertility treatments through loans with competitive interest rates. The company has also added more detail to its reports with information on women’s cumulative probability of success with IVF, such as after two or three retrievals.
- CEO: Sean Glass
- Headquarters: Silver Spring, Maryland
- Investors: Blue Mountain Capital Management, Deerfield
Advantia Health started off the New Year with fresh funding, raising a $45 million round in January. The company takes a provider focus; Advantia has acquires OB/GYN practices across the Midwest and the East Coast, with a total of 50 offices employing 200 physicians as of last month.
Glass started the company with has father in 2014. The idea was to build a company focused on the relationship between doctors and patients. Advantia also has a tech component; last year it acquired Pacify, a telemedicine startup that provides post-partum support.
Since its big funding round, Advantia has also struck a partnership with West Virginia’s Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) to give women 24/7 lactation support through its Pacify app. Look for Advantia to strike more partnerships in the future.
- CEO: Katherine Ryder
- Headquarters: New York
- Investors: Oak HC/FT, Sequoia Capital, Spring Mountain Capital, 8VC
New York-based startup Maven Clinic is taking a telehealth-based approach to women’s health. The startup offers virtual clinic that allows women to video chat or message physicians, including OB/GYNs, pediatricians and mental health specialists.
The startup raised a $27 million funding round led by Sequoia Capital and Oak HC/FT in 2018 to build out its platform.
On top of its telehealth services, Maven also has programs it offers through employers and health plans, to help members with maternity, adoption and returning to work. Some of its corporate clients include Bumble and Snap Inc. The company also struck a partnership with digital health startup Castlight Health, making it easier for customers to integrate Maven into their benefits platform.
- CEO: Claire Tomkins
- Headquarters: San Francisco
- Investors: Atalaya Capital, Aspect Ventures
Future Family CEO Claire Tomkins started the company after going through six rounds of IVF to conceive her daughter. She wanted to make fertility care more accessible to other families, both in price and complexity. For example, Future Family’s IVF plans range from $250 to $450 per month.
The company doesn’t cover the cost of the IVF procedure itself, but its subscription-based fertility plans offer the surrounding services, including fertility tests, medication planning and health coaching with a registered nurse. It also offers loans to help cover the cost of IVF, which can range from $8,000 to $12,000 per cycle.
The company raised a $10 million series A round in October of 2018. It acquired an additional $100 million in debt financing from Atalaya Capital later that year. Since then, it has launched new programs, including an option for family members to help finance IVF treatments, and a reciprocal IVF program for lesbian and trans couples.
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