Revolutionising the world of hormone and reproductive health, the new London-based women’s health startup Hertility Health has announced the closing of a £4.2 million seed funding. The funding round was led by LocalGlobe – one of the UK’s most prolific seed investors, Venrex and some key angel investors including former CEO of Bupa, Evelyn Bourke, CEO of Nested and the unicorn company GoCardless, Matt Robinson.
The funds will help to expand its current product offering of fertility and hormone testing, menopause, miscarriage, postnatal care, polycyctic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and endometriosis testing, as well as aid the expansion of its current clinical trials to reduce the diagnosis time for some of the most common reproductive conditions. The cash injection will work towards establishing it as the leading scientific and clinical, educational health hub for women in a sector that’s set to be worth $50bn by 2025.
Hormonal health: the massive opportunity
Founded by female scientists who felt passionate about the need for change, Hertility Health was built by women scientists while on their maternity leave, dedicating themselves and their expertise to the mission. The startup was born out of pure frustration for the lack of research into women’s health and the lack of support available to women who were curious or worried about their reproductive health.
Officially launching in 2020 during the pandemic, Hertility Health is addressing one of the biggest market segments in which there has been little advancement for many years.
Infertility woes? Not anymore
For far too long, women have been reactive when it comes to their fertility, only seeking answers once they think something is wrong. Hertility Health has already helped over 2,000 women understand their reproductive health and infertility risks, working with leading world experts to provide personalised care pathways that help with all aspects of women’s health, including symptom management, egg freezing and IVF. In recognising the sensitive nature of these results, the startup also offers fertility counselling to those in need.
“We live in a society that expects us to tolerate pain and mask our symptoms. Some women spend over ten years on their contraception, never fully knowing if there might be something wrong,” says Hertility Health CEO and Founder, Dr Helen O’Neill.
Women’s health hub
On average, 1 in 5 Hertility Health users have been found to have a previously undiagnosed reproductive condition which has been revealed as a result of testing with Hertility Health.
Talking about her Hertility Health journey, user Emily Champion, said: “It has been a life-changing experience. The fear of infertility is real. Why should we women have to fight so hard to get to the truth of our own bodies?! Through a simple blood test here, I now know that I am fortunate enough to have a good egg count, not have PCOS and am on the road to diminishing my bloat.”
Towards affordable diagnosis
“The world class team of experts, scientists and researchers at Hertility Health are what make it a real game-changer in the industry,” said Julia Hawkins at LocalGlobe. “Together, we’re excited to help Hertility Health become the home for women’s health, building on its incredible success to date and meeting the clear consumer demand for an accessible, affordable, high-quality solution to reproductive health concerns and curiosity.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a surge in demand for remote and accessible help. The current NHS guidelines stipulate women must prove they have been actively trying for over 12 months before being referred for specialist help (requiring them to be heterosexual), or to have had at least three miscarriages before being investigated. For the 1 in 7 couples who will experience infertility, this is simply not good enough. Of course, there is the option to go private, but this can incur costs of up to £1,800 for a check – not exactly ‘accessible’ or ‘affordable’ – which Hertilty offers for a fraction of this cost.
Mark Esiri of Venrex Investment Management, commented: “Venrex tries to find creative entrepreneurs who often have ‘differences of opinion’ with status quo. We have been lucky enough to back companies, including Revolut, Charlotte Tilbury, Mumsnet, NotOnTheHighStreet and Maven Clinic. We are fortunate to be working with the Hertility Health team who are bringing technical expertise, a data-driven approach and relentless energy to address deeply important health issues.”