Commercial surrogacy is now legal in New York. This opens up a brand new market with routine surrogacy costing anywhere from $100K-$250K per child. These fees cover the attorneys, surrogate agency, cost of in-vitro, and the health insurance and compensation for the surrogate. GoStork is the first marketplace focused on fertility that introduces transparency to the process. The platform features a free database of egg donors, presently numbering 10K+, IVF clinics, and 50+ surrogate agencies. Users can save countless hours by using GoStork for side-by-side comparisons, reviews, detailed cost breakdowns, and more. 1/8 couples experience infertility and the startup, founded in June of 2020, seeks to be the trusted resource to navigate this $36B market.
AlleyWatch caught up with Eran Amir to learn about the inspiration for the business, the future plans, and recent round of funding.
Who were your investors and how much did you raise?
This was our first seed round and we raised $760K from several investors across the fertility and tech industries. They are diverse in experience and perspective – just to share a few:
Our first investor was Edith Simchi-Levi – a member of NY Angels and Cofounder of Opalytics (acquired by Accenture Analytics). She had a personal experience related to the fertility industry and immediately understood the problems GoStork solved.
We also have Dr. Gad Levy, the Founder and Medical Director of New England Fertility.
Additionally, Founders of two unicorns have invested in us: Dror Feldheim, Founder and Chief Commerce Officer of Trax and David Ring, Cofounder of eToro and various other successful ventures.
GoStork is the first fertility marketplace! We enable intended parents to find, compare and connect with top fertility providers. We currently have a very robust marketplace of egg donors and surrogacy agencies and we’re thrilled about the traction there. We launched in mid 2020 and already have thousands of intended parents registered, from all 50 states and across 60 countries.
What inspired the start of GoStork?
My journey to fatherhood – through surrogacy, egg donation and IVF – is what inspired GoStork. When I began this process 4 years ago, I had no idea where to start. I researched for what felt like countless hours, (literally weeks and weeks). It was a very manual process, and there was a huge lack of transparency across the fertility ecosystem.
There was no single platform that aggregated all of my options, no way to compare providers apples to apples, and nowhere online that I could find important information such as all the costs involved. And believe me, it’s expensive. I reviewed a ton of different websites (many felt like they were from the 80s), I made tons of phone calls just to be told I could not find out costs unless I did a full consultation — and despite all of that, I was still left confused about my roadmap ahead.
Fast forward about a year; despite all of these difficulties, I had my amazing daughter Ariel. Soon after, I decided to build a better way for many more intended parents like myself. I left my job after spending over 20 years in tech and product, named Ariel my cofounder and got to work.
At GoStork, we envision a world where anyone with a dream to start a family has access to an inclusive, trusted, and transparent resource that supports their path to parenthood. That’s what I wished I had, that’s what keeps me inspired and that’s what we will keep working towards every day.
How is GoStork different?
Our mission is to bring unprecedented transparency to the fertility industry and to help simplify the first steps in the family building journey – in a meaningful way that no other individual website, platform, or company ever has – allowing intended parents to make much more informed decisions. The fact that these are some of the most important decisions one will ever make is what brought me to the realization that a marketplace like GoStork was so long overdue.
With that said, there are so many specific ways that we’re different. To start, we have the widest selection: with 50 top surrogacy agencies as well as 10,000 egg donors aggregated from many different egg donor agencies, we are the largest free online database.
For all of these providers, we offer the most transparency particularly around the expertise, experience, services, and costs – in fact we are the only place where an intended can find the costs (including detailed breakdowns of all fees involved) for any provider they research on our platform. This information is not available anywhere else online and it can really help them save money – which is always a great benefit with such an expensive endeavor.
We additionally have a unique comparison tool where intended parents can view providers they select side-by-side to better understand their differences across all key criteria. This saves them a ton of time and work. I’ve spoken with hundreds of intended parents who, like myself, managed huge excel sheets just to keep track of their research, their options, and all the details related to each provider. We eliminate that stress from the process.
At the core of all of the above, we provide a simple and seamless user experience – in an industry with very outdated websites and technology we hear from many intended parents that arriving at GoStork is a breath of fresh air. And we’re entirely free for them to use!
What market does GoStork target and how big is it?
We target the fertility market. According to the CDC, approximately 1 in 8 couples experience infertility. The global market is $36B.
What’s your business model?
We’re free for intended parents – we are paid by providers on our platform.
How has COVID-19 impacted the business?
We launched in March but then had to relaunch in June of 2020 as fertility treatments were essentially on hold throughout that timeframe.
What was the funding process like?
Everything was hard about the process in this climate – last year there were so many unknowns. With that in mind, I’m grateful that our investors saw our mission, the product we built, and our early traction and really believed in us.
What are the biggest challenges that you faced while raising capital?
Raising over zoom! I’ve only met one of our investors in person, so I really look forward to meeting all of them when things are safer.
What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?
I think it was a combination of my passion born out of my personal experience, the fact that I know from speaking with hundreds of other intended parents that they all experienced the same difficulties I had, that I built the first platform to solve these issues, and that hired a team as devoted as I was to help us get to our initial product-market fit and traction.
What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?
We will launch the first marketplace of IVF clinics!
What advice can you offer companies in New York that do not have a fresh injection of capital in the bank?
Think hard about your ultimate vision and consider if your current business plan isn’t the best way to achieve it – be open to taking advice and to be nimble to pivot if necessary. Remember you’re not losing track of your true north, you’re just getting there along a different path.
Where do you see the company going now over the near term?
Aside from actually meeting in person, we will be building our team, bringing more amazing providers into our marketplace – and most importantly we will help thousands more intended parents and patients start their family-building journeys.
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