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Raising Modern Fertility

Raising Modern Fertility's Series A, and sparking real change in reproductive health

4 min read

Today is a big day for women’s health. We are announcing Modern Fertility’s $15 million series A, led by Kirsten Green at Forerunner Ventures, who is also joining our board. This new capital will enable us to build new products that support women in their reproductive health while developing new clinical research that pushes fertility science forward. For a space that has been underfunded and under-researched for decades, this partnership is pivotal. Over the last few years, women have shown us that in order to flex their power and potential, they need (and demand) better support for the decisions that impact their bodies and futures. We are building Modern Fertility to bring women’s health up to speed with our modern lives––arming Modern women with the information we need to be our own best personal health advocates.

Building the Reproductive Health Company of the Future

The Modern Fertility hormone test allows women to check in on fertility hormones at home before they’re ready for kids. Launching this was our first step in making personalized fertility information more accessible. It was also a response to the inherently reactive fertility system, which I myself got lost in when I set out to test my fertility hormones a few years ago (TL;DR - it took months to get the tests ordered and cost me $1,500 out-of-pocket, BUT the results were eye-opening).

We hear from thousands of women who are noticing misinformation, running into roadblocks, and getting conflicting advice when they want to be intentional about the decisions impacting their reproductive health. Because our product is information, Modern Fertility is uniquely positioned to be a neutral resource for women navigating their reproductive health. Our business does not rely on women pursuing certain treatments, outcomes or pills––rather, it hinges on getting her what she needs to make these decisions for herself. We focus on delivering clinically sound information that helps her start conversations with her doctor, her partner, or herself, so that she can ultimately do what’s right for her—whatever that may be.

But there is more work to do. Our new products will directly respond to women’s requests––many of which come from our own community, Modern Women, and from both customers and non-customers writing into our support channels. We will lean into pockets of reproductive health that are still largely inaccessible or riddled with unsatisfactory options. At a time where women are waiting longer than ever to have kids, a reliable, trusted resource for reproductive health information is non-negotiable.

Improving reproductive health science from the inside out

And now for my favorite part––research. I’ve been doing it all my life––as a 13-year-old in national science fairs and as an adult in biology labs––and it’s ingrained in everything we do at Modern Fertility. Our research falls into two buckets––cultural and clinical––and uncovers the observations we need to reshape the fertility experience and build better predictors of fertility for the industry at large.

With our cultural research, we focus on getting a pulse on what women and their partners need when it comes to fertility today. We run academic surveys and analysis, often in partnership with relevant organizations and individuals who bring complementary expertise, to examine where more support is needed and how outlooks are shifting. We recently released on our inaugural Modern State of Fertility report in partnership with Glamour––and there will be more like it to come.

On the clinical side, we published a study in The Green Journal, the leading publication from The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), which demonstrated that our home test is concordant with a traditional venous blood draw. We did this study to go beyond the approvals from our CLIA and CAP labs, which require the highest integrity methods and processes, and further prove out our approach.

But the research I am most excited about is what we’re building within the Modern Fertility experience. Every Modern Fertility customer can choose to support women’s health research by opting into clinical studies (the majority do). If she chooses to consent, her anonymized data can be analyzed by our team of PHDs and Reproductive Endocrinologists (AKA fertility doctors) in IRB-approved research. Some important context: because our healthcare system treats fertility reactively, the majority of industry research is on women with infertility. That means science has limited insight into women’s fertility before they may be having trouble conceiving. We are working to change that. With more women proactively testing fertility earlier in life, we can start to uncover nuances in fertility as they change over time.

A key goal is to develop a better predictor of fertility for women everywhere. In the years to come, new and improved markers of fertility will bubble up into the Modern Fertility experience, appear in academic publications, and advance the overall women’s health industry.

The Team to Take This On

When it comes to reshaping the relationships people have with personal parts of life and giving old product categories entirely new meaning, there is absolutely no better leader than Forerunner Ventures. Women demand intimate, transparent relationships with the brands touching our overall well-being, from beauty, exercise, to personal care––why not an area as important as our reproductive health? The support of Kirsten Green and her team of experts puts women’s health alongside some of the most formative consumer brands of the last decade, such as Glossier, Warby Parker, Outdoor Voices and Away. And that is just insanely cool.

We’re dedicated to building a company that women love, with clinical expertise that they deserve. Our Medical Advisors and clinical researchers include Biological Anthropologists, PHDs, and Reproductive Endocrinologists with decades of experience advancing reproductive health.

Between raising our series A, bringing Kirsten onto our board, and building an unparalleled team and Medical Advisory board, what I find most exciting is the resounding vote of trust in women becoming their own best personal health advocates. Real change is underway-–and this time, it’s in women’s hands.

Let’s do this,

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Afton Vechery

Afton is the co-founder and CEO of Modern Fertility.

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