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Memberships include access to education, telehealth with licensed providers, and home diagnostics
The $854.5 million in venture funding that went to fertility-focused startups in 2022 was more than double the $305.7 million raised in 2017, and more than 6x the $134 million raised in 2012. This space is growing quickly, and getting more crowded, with companies like Carrot Fertility, Tia, Maven, Nodal, Frame Fertility, Posterity Health, Legacy, Future Family, and a Kindbody all raising money over the last year and a half.
The latest entry into the space is Zuri Fertility, which launched its platform of out stealth earlier this week. The company, which means "beautiful" in Swahili, is seeking to modernize fertility by providing access to early, high quality medical care.
"Reproduction is a basic biological need, yet 1 in 6 couples worldwide suffer from infertility. Access to fertility care is a major problem, and it can take months or years for patients to get to a fertility clinic," Gulianna Zaccardelli, MD, CEO and co-founder of Zuri Fertility, told VatorNews.
"Fertility issues are continuing to rise, and patients are not getting the care, support, or guidance that they need in a timely manner. We know that patients need to have better support and the ability to get the care that they need quickly, because time is the most important factor in a successful fertility outcome,"
Zuri was born out of the experience of co-founder Blair Matthews and his wife when they were trying to conceive. Like them, the typical customer for Zuri is a couple who is currently trying to get pregnant but hasn;t yet had success. These couples, who are often unsure of where to go or who to talk to next, can download Zuri, access their free resources, and also opt to complete a fertility workup within the app.
The company's solution starts with education and resources to give patients the information they need to make informed decisions as they embark on their journey. Through telehealth with licensed providers and home diagnostics, it helps patients get a diagnosis for their cause of infertility much earlier on in their journey and create personalized care plans. Members will be given access to licensed therapists, nutritionists, and financial counselors.
"The vast majority of cases of infertility can be treated with medical management, and for those patients, we can prescribe medications and treatments and follow them through our app. For those patients who need to go to a fertility clinic for in-person treatment, we facilitate that referral," explained Zaccardelli.
"Regardless of their treatment plan, we also offer services to support patients throughout their treatment journey, including access to therapists, financial counselors, and dieticians, to ensure that patients have all the resources they need to be successful."
A Zuri Fertility membership will cost $2,000 upon registration with additional $500 monthly fees. The offering is currently self-pay, with plans to integrate insurance solutions throughout the year. The company is currently testing with about 100 patients; its revenue-generating platform will launch later this summer, but it currently has a waitlist on its website of over 500 patients. For that reason, it hasn't been able to calculate any kind of ROI for its patients so far.
"We hope to be able to save patients significant time, and hopefully money, on their fertility journey by getting them the answers they need earlier in the process," said Zaccardelli.
As for all of those aforementioned companies emerging in the fertility space, including those like Carrot and Kindbody, she says that they are focused on different aspects of the fertility journey than Zuri is, such as finances and insurance, "but they don’t provide the earlier access and guidance that we do at Zuri."
"In fertility, time equals success. A woman’s age has the most direct impact on her fertility potential. That’s why we are focused on providing access to high-quality care for all patients," she explained.
The ultimate goal of the company, which has so far raised a total of $450,000 from angel investors and Techstars NYC Powered by JP Morgan, is to be the leader in fertility care.
"We want to be the first place that patients go when they are struggling to have a child - or even thinking about conceiving. Our vision is to be the trusted partner for everyone who wants to have a family," Zaccardelli said.
(Image source: zurifertility.com)
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