Do you have baby fever? If you do—or if you ever have in the past—then you know that it’s a force to be reckoned with. It’s so overwhelming, in fact, that you’ll find yourself joining pregnancy and parenting communities, like TheBump.com and BabyCenter, and downloading fertility tracking apps—because that’s the closest you can come to actually going online and buying a pregnancy. If you—like me—are wondering why no one has monetized baby fever yet, stand back, because that’s exactly what Ovuline has done.
More sciency than your average fertility tracking app, Ovuline announced Monday that it has raised $1.4 million in a seed round led by Lightbank. And in a unique twist, the TechStars graduate also got funding from TechStars founder and CEO David Cohen. Launch Capital and LionBird also participated in the round.
Ovuline is a far cry from your average fertility and pregnancy app. It actually comes with a money-back guarantee—if you don’t have a bun in the oven within six months, Ovuline will refund your money. The site has three membership plans with varying degrees of access to the site’s services. Users who aren’t sure whether they want to jump the gun can get a free membership. For those who want a baby soon—and those who want a baby yesterday—there are the silver and gold packages, which come with one-time fees of $47.99 and $49.99, respectively.
Ovuline users conceive three times faster than the national average, and the company says that the average Ovuline user will conceive within the first 56 days of signing up.
The key to the site’s success is the fact that it tailors the experience to each individual user. Included in the package is a fertility kit, which includes a basal thermometer, 10 ovulation predictor tests, two pregnancy tests, fertility supplements, and more. As you begin tracking your fertility signs and sharing the data with Ovuline, the site’s algorithms become attuned to your cycle and will pinpoint your fertile window.
From a healthIT perspective, this is the cutting edge of utilizing measurable data to monitor health. From a commerce point of view, this is a fabulous way to capitalize on baby fever. You still have to slog through all the planning and data--but you also get the immediate gratification of making a purchase to get the ball rolling.
Ovuline is currently working on a pregnancy tracker, which—like the fertility tracker—diverges from typical pregnancy sites and communities by tracking data generated by wearable devices that monitor key health indicators, such as weight, nutrition, activity, sleep, and blood pressure (preeclampsia, one of the most dangerous pregnancy conditions, can come on suddenly with few, if any, indicators outside of high blood pressure), among others. The Pregnancy Tracker is currently in beta testing and will be commercially available later this year.
“People are incredibly engaged,” CEO Paris Wallace tells me of the early testing stages of the Pregnancy Tracker. “They love the wearable health tracking devices and the level of personalized insights we can provide based upon their unique data set.”
Wallace says that the company plans to use the capital from this round to build out the team, as well as for the development and launch of the Pregnancy Tracker.
"Ovuline is already demonstrating the kind of leadership in a new technology space that we are excited about funding," said Bill Pescatello, principal at Lightbank, in a statement. "In a short amount of time, Ovuline has earned the trust of tens of thousands of users and demonstrated the sophistication it takes to build a loyal consumer following.”