Overture backed by further $15m for IVF work



IVF process automation startup Overture Life today announced it has raised a further $15M in funding, as it continues to develop technology through its mission to democratise in-vitro fertilisation.

Overture Life is developing medical devices and novel embryo testing methodologies that will automate all stages of the IVF process, lowering costs and increasing throughput for IVF practitioners.

The devices are being developed in its facilities located in Madrid and Barcelona and Overture Life expects to have their first devices available by the end of the current year.

The latest funding round was led by Octopus Ventures, one of Europe’s largest and most active early-stage investors, with Google Ventures also participating in the round, in its first Spain-based investment.

Additional investment was received from existing investors such as Khosla Ventures, Felicis Ventures, and Marc Benioff, who were all early backers of the company, and brings Overture Life’s fundraising total to $37M.

Fertility rates have been declining in both men and women over the last 60 years, particularly in industrialised countries as people delay having children. One in seven UK couples now report difficulties conceiving and demand for IVF has increased substantially as a result. 

Despite this, there has been very little innovation in the fertility market, which still relies predominantly on manual embryology for assisted production.

These techniques have remained the same for more than two decades, despite being expensive and producing highly varied outcomes across different clinics. The end result is that many prospective parents end up being priced of the market or limited to a small number of IVF cycles. 

Overture says it strives to democratise processes in assisted reproduction to make them more accessible, simplify techniques, and optimise use of resources.

“Overture Life will automate and robotize the embryology lab, improving IVF and egg freezing success rates and lowering costs, thereby democratising access to fertility. It is a significant validation of our vision and of our technical progress that investors such as Octopus and GV are joining us in our mission,” says Martin Varsavsky, CEO of Overture Life.

Luke Hakes, partner and health investor at Octopus Ventures, says: “Having spent many months researching the fertility market and landscape, we believe that Overture is one of, if not the, most exciting company in this space.

“The innovative and pioneering products that Overture is building will fundamentally transform the global fertility market by increasing accessibility and affordability, and in a much more meaningful way than existing solutions and services. Combined with a first-class team and powerful mission, Overture has all the necessary ingredients to become a truly category defining business.”

Overture currently employs 60 multidisciplinary specialists across the fields of software, microfluidics, robotics, embryology, and reproductive medicine. This round will enable the biotech company to increase its operations in Europe and the US and begin commercialization of its first products. 

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