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The Toronto-based company plans to use the funding to expand nationally
Fertility issues know no borders and there are similar issues everywhere. In the Canadian market, for example, an estimated 1 in 6 couples now struggle with infertility, a figure that has more than doubled since the 1980s. On top of that, compared to peer nations, Canada has the lowest penetration rate for fertility treatment.
Toronto-based fertility and reproductive health company Twig Fertility, which announced an $8 million Series A financing round led by Rhino Ventures on Tuesday, was founded by President Tanner Kohara, CEO Zach Shapiro, and Medical Director Dr. Rhonda Zwingerman, when Kohara and his wife were going through their own fertility journey.
"We were frustrated by the industry status quo and started Twig with a desire to introduce a new standard for fertility care in Canada. My co-founders and I felt that there was a significant gap not only in access to fertility care, meaning not enough supply, but also in the patient experience," Shapiro, the company's CEO, told VatorNews.
"Due to the persistent underserved demand, existing clinics often let patient experience become an afterthought, focusing on volume in unwelcoming, sterile atmospheres, with poor patient communication and archaic technology."
Kohara, he said, wanted to build the clinic that he and his wife wished they had, "one that combined an incredible patient experience with best in class care and transparency in what it would realistically look like to grow their family, meaning time and cost to achieving their family building goals."
The company opened its flagship location in midtown Toronto in 2022, which include a fertility clinic, lab, and pharmacy, while also incorporating the latest technological developments to drive superior patient outcomes in a space thoughtfully designed around a personalized, compassionate patient experience.
The company offers in-vitro fertilization, egg freezing, intrauterine insemination, LGBTQ2S+ family building, fertility checks, comprehensive reproductive genetic counselling, reproductive urology, and mental health and wellness support. It also created Fertility Check, a service for people who are curious about learning more about their fertility before they go down the path of family building.
While the largest patient group for Twig is predominantly heterosexual couples who are struggling to conceive naturally, the company also sees same sex couples and elected single parents who need third party support such as donor eggs/sperm or a gestational carrier, as well as a significant number of people looking to freeze their eggs or sperm.
"Our patient group is diverse but we can broadly group them by outcome: family builders, or those looking to bring home a baby; fertility preservers, those looking to freeze eggs or sperm; and fertility curious, those just interested in learning more about their reproductive health," Shapiro said.
The company plans to use the new funding it raised to recruit and retain additional fertility specialists; it recently added two new physicians to its practice to increase its capacity and help meet demand. The funds will also support the development of its technology platform so it can use personalized health and demographic data to improve patient experience, care, and outcomes by making its practice more bespoke and more efficient.
Twig is also looking to expand its footprint to become the premier fertility solution in Canada.
"We're looking to expand nationally and to provide consistent, best-in-class outcomes and experiences for all patients that come through any of our doors," Shapiro said.
"Our goal is to help as many people as possible achieve their family building goals by building Canada's first national reproductive health practice."
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