Start-up Hertility Health has raised £4.2m in seed funding to help grow its hormone and reproductive health-related product range.
The seed funding round was led by LocalGlobe, Venrex, and several angel investors including former CEO of Bupa, Evelyn Bourke and Matt Robinson, CEO of Nested and founder of the unicorn company GoCardless.
The funds will help Hertility Health expand its current product offering of fertility and hormone testing, menopause, miscarriage, postnatal care, polycyctic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and endometriosis testing.
They will also aid the expansion of its current clinical trials which aim to reduce the diagnosis time for some of the most common reproductive conditions.
This cash injection will also support Hertility Health’s emergence as a scientific and clinical educational health hub for women in a sector that is expected to be worth US$50bn by 2025.
Hertility Health helps women to understand their reproductive health and infertility risks, working with experts to provide personalised care pathways that help with all aspects of women’s health, including symptom management, egg freezing and IVF.
The firm also offers fertility counselling to those in need.
CEO and Founder Dr Helen O’Neill said: “We live in a society that expects us to tolerate pain and mask our symptoms. Some women spend over ten years on their contraception, never fully knowing if there might be something wrong”
“On average, one in five Hertility Health users have been found to have a previously undiagnosed reproductive condition which has been revealed as a result of testing with Hertility Health.”
Julia Hawkins of LocalGlobe described the startup as “a real game-changer in the industry” thanks to its “world class team of experts, scientists and researchers”.
She added: “Together, we’re excited to help Hertility Health become the home for women’s health, building on its incredible success to date and meeting the clear consumer demand for an accessible, affordable, high-quality solution to reproductive health concerns and curiosity.”
The company was founded by female scientists while on maternity leave and launched during lockdown last year. Its inception comes amid surging demand for remote and accessible help as a result of the pandemic.
Current NHS guidelines stipulate women must prove they have been actively trying to conceive for over 12 months before being referred for specialist help. Alternatively, they must have had at least three miscarriages before being investigated.
The private care route, meanwhile, can cost up to £1,800 for a check-up, making it inaccessible to many.
One Hertility Health user, Emily Champion, said: “The fear of infertility is so very real. Why should we women have to fight so hard to get to the truth of our own bodies?! The answer is… we shouldn’t!
“Through a simple blood test, I now know that I am fortunate enough to have a good egg count, not have PCOS and am on the road to diminishing my bloat! Thank you to the best team of experts.”