Octopus Ventures leads $15M Series B funding in IVF automation startup Overture Life

Octopus Ventures

Overture Life, the IVF process automation startup recently announced that it has raised $15M in Series B funding, bringing its fundraising total to $37M as it continues to attract investments in its mission to democratize in-vitro fertilization (IVF).

The round was led by London-based Octopus Ventures, one of Europe’s largest and most active early-stage investors, Google Ventures also participated in the round, in its first Spain-based investment. Additional investment was received from existing investors such as Khosla Ventures, Felicis Ventures, and Marc Benioff, who were all early backers of the company.

Overture Life strives to democratise processes in assisted reproduction to make them more accessible, simplify techniques, and optimise use of resources. The company is developing medical devices and novel embryo testing methodologies that will automate all stages of the IVF process, lowering costs and increasing throughput for IVF practitioners. 

Out of different industry-specific investment focus, Octopus Venture focuses on transforming the health industry, by investing in companies from digital therapeutics through to biotechnology. It invests from £1 million for seed to £10 million for Series B funding and continues to invest through to IPO.

Democratising IVF treatment with automation

Because of the hectic lifestyle, fertility rates have been declining in both men and women over the last 60 years, particularly in industrialised countries as people delay having children. One in seven UK couples now report difficulties conceiving results in increased demand for IVF.

Still, technological innovation has been limited in the fertility market that relies mainly on manual embryology for assisted production. These techniques have remained the same over two decades, despite being expensive and producing highly varied outcomes across different clinics. It results in many prospective parents ending up being priced off the market or limited to a small number of IVF cycles.

Further, devices are being developed in its facilities located in Madrid and Barcelona and Overture Life expects to have their first devices available by the end of the current year.

Martin Varsavsky, CEO of Overture Life, said:

“Overture Life will automate and robotize the embryology lab, improving IVF and egg freezing success rates and lowering costs, thereby democratizing access to fertility It is a significant validation of our vision and of our technical progress that investors such as Octopus and GV are joining us in our mission.”

Luke Hakes, Partner and health investor at Octopus Ventures, said:

“Having spent many months researching the fertility market and landscape, we believe that Overture is one of, if not the, most exciting company in this space. The innovative and pioneering products that Overture is building will fundamentally transform the global fertility market by increasing accessibility and affordability, and in a much more meaningful way than existing solutions and services. Combined with a first-class team and powerful mission, Overture has all the necessary ingredients to become a truly category-defining business.”

Currently, the New York-based startup employs 60 multidisciplinary specialists across the fields of software, microfluidics, robotics, embryology, and reproductive medicine. The funding will enable the biotech company to expand its operations in Europe and the US and begin commercialisation of its first products.