Our Investment in Modern Fertility

Modern Fertility is building a trusted consumer brand in fertility, starting with their launch today of at-home testing for women. In the comfort of their own homes, and for a fraction of what it would cost at a clinic, women can have their key fertility hormones tested through a few drops of blood. These hormones give insight into things like egg count, ovulation, and thyroid functionality--factors that have big impact on a woman’s likelihood of conceiving now or in the future. Most importantly, customers receive personalized, clear results that set the context for how to think about their own bodies and choices--including the option to dive in deeper with registered professionals who can help figure out what comes next, no matter the findings. Customers also become a part of the Modern Fertility community, a cohort of women with unique situations and attributes, but all focused on making fact-based choices and interested in similar topics.  

There are 4 key elements that made us particularly excited about this investment at USV:

  1. USV’s Thesis 3.0 centers around companies and projects that are broadening access to knowledge, capital, and well-being. Today, women typically do not get access to this personalized fertility information until they have been trying to conceive for 6-12 months without success. At that point, their doctor can recommend labs, which are often costly and not covered by insurance. As a result, the customer doesn’t know her own fertility status until she knows that something is possibly wrong (and is able to afford the testing.) Modern Fertility provides women insight into their health on their own terms and timeline, with a far lower price-tag. And while at-home hormone testing allows the company’s relationship with a woman to begin at the start of their fertility journey, Modern Fertility’s plans are big to serve them throughout, no matter which way their road winds.
  2. When women take the Modern Fertility test, they are not only getting access to their own information, but helping teach Modern Fertility’s core systems how to best serve the next woman. The community is strengthened by each person that joins it, both in size and in strength of the data. This core data network effect is something we continuously look for and believe creates powerful moats.
  3. Modern Fertility is not only focused on releasing functional products, but also on building a trusted brand in a category rich in consumer emotion, engagement, and spend, but currently devoid of reliable access or information. There is no go-to service when women begin to think about starting families. Anyone who has been down that path and entered the Google rabbit hole around the topic knows this viscerally: it’s unreliable, inconsistent, and often frightening. Questions are answered on ancient message boards that aren’t verified by fact or context. Primarily, its an impersonal maze centered around a highly personal topic. The opportunity to change this and create an important business while doing so was evident in first meeting founders Afton and Carly. And while delivering on brand promise and gaining longlasting consumer trust is difficult, this context creates the opportunity to do so in a meaningful way.  
  4. Afton and Carly, and the team they are assembling, are uniquely positioned to build this company. Afton started her career in financial services looking at fertility clinic roll ups where she first realized the massive opportunity and problems with the market. She started Modern Fertility out of a product role at 23andMe where she saw the power of at home-testing and compounding data sets first hand. Carly comes out of brand and creative at Uber and Google. She has long been focused on building standout consumer experiences and communities. They are building for a cohort they know and a product they need.

This is a category we have believed in for quite a while at USV. Modern Fertility joins Nurx and Clue in our portfolio, all of which are aiming to provide better experiences, greater access, and powerful information to women around their health and bodies. We are passionate about this market as well as opportunities to build brands that broaden access across many categories of consumer health. It is a sector of our portfolio that will likely continue to expand in the coming years.

Welcome Afton, Carly, and the Modern Fertility team to the USV family.

 

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