This NYC Startup Raised Nearly $15M for Fertile Company Growth



With the advent of modern medicine, we have all the tools and knowledge to make fertility experiences as seamless as possible. But at the moment is there an all in one solution that addresses this market? With Progyny, there is. The recently funded startup is end to end solution that provides you access to the best doctors, education, fertility options and other clinical needs.  The startup promises to have everything you need to make the experience cost efficient without sacrificing any quality of care.

Today we sit down with CEO Gina Bartasi to discuss the recent round of funding from some big name investors, the company’s plans for the future, and the fertility market.

Who were your investors and how much did you raise?

Our lead investor is a large family office that prefers to remain anonymous at this time. The funding was provided by Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, Mellon, SR One, TPG Biotech, and Union Grove Venture Partners. The company raised $14.7M in Series B funding.

Tell us about your product or service.

Progyny offers the first end-to-end proactive fertility solution for large, self-insured companies and self-paying patients looking to increase their success rates and time to pregnancy, while reducing cost.

We provide educational support through our mobile app, articles, and user-generated forums/groups; access to our concierge service provided by our skilled Patient Care Advocates (PCAs); financing support and clinical information. We also offer clinical advancements in the IVF lab such as Eeva™, the only FDA cleared early embryo viability assessment test, and our innovative SMART™ Cycle treatment plans that start with egg or embryo freezing, include embryo screening to reduce miscarriage and provide for single embryo transfer (SET).

What inspired you to start the company?

Years ago, I was going through IVF treatment and realized the fertility industry was incredibly opaque. In 2009, I founded Fertility Authority to help women navigate the fertility industry, find a doctor, and understand their diagnosis and treatment. In March 2015, we merged with Auxogyn and rebranded as Progyny. Today our mission is to help anyone who wants to have a child, to have a healthy one.

How is it different?

We bring together the best in care, data, research and science to empower today’s patient with the technology, resources, information and support that is needed by most on their fertility journey. Our company is comprised of customer service support, as well as doctors, nurses, and embryologists. We have the only FDA approved early embryo viability assessment tool on the market – a technology that sets us apart as embark on patient services and clinical trials to revolutionize the industry and improve outcomes for the patient.

What market you are targeting and how big is it?

Basically anybody looking to have, start or expand their family is someone who could benefit from the technology and education provided by Progyny. From fertility preservation, to those in need of a surrogate or donor eggs/sperm, or assisted reproductive technology to achieve pregnancy. We’re in the United States now, soon to be international. The IVF industry is $10B today projected to grow to $22B by 2020. This growing market does not include the rapidly growing, relatively new, social egg freezing market.

What’s your business model?

Progyny is a healthcare technology company with several revenue models. We work with large employers to provide their employees with a benefits package that supports egg freezing, embryo banking, artificial insemination, IVF, adoption and surrogacy. We offer advertising and sponsorship opportunities on our user-generated content forum site and online resource site. In addition, we offer exclusive pricing to consumers on their treatment cycles by building direct relationships with the top fertility clinics in the country, creating a win-win-win for Progyny, the patient and the clinic.

According to your data, what is the average cost of treatment for fertility problems?

The average cost for an IVF cycle starts at $12,400.

What was the funding process like?

Challenging, but incredibly rewarding.

What are the biggest challenges that you faced while raising capital?

Same as all venture-backed companies: finding alignment on valuation and terms.

What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?

Our growth rate and TAM.

What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?

In the last six months we rolled out our fertility benefits plan for enterprise companies and there’s still a great momentum and interest from Fortune 500 companies. In the next 6 months, we anticipate close to 1 million covered lives under management.

What advice can you offer companies in New York that do not have a fresh injection of capital in the bank?

Have a plan to get you cash flow positive as quickly as possible, without sacrificing growth. Meaning: remain scrappy.

Where do you see the company going now over the near term?

We’re building a reputation as a service-oriented, innovator in the fertility industry. Our objective over the near term is to remain nimble and listen to our various customers’ needs whether those needs stem from patients, providers or enterprise customers.

What’s your favorite restaurant in the city?

North End Grill

About the author: AlleyWatch

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