Why We Invested: Kindbody
Carolina Rojas and Shawn Ellis
“Do you offer fertility coverage?” It’s a question that most employers are being asked and arguably ne of the preeminent factors for women who are planning on having children. In the US alone, infertility affects 1 out of 8 women, making it more common than Type 2 diabetes, Alzheimers, and breast cancer. Demands for IVF services have continued to hit record highs, with over 7.3M women having sought IVF treatment to date and roughly 150k women in need of IVF treatments on a yearly basis. An additional 2M women might benefit from IVF if they had the support and resources to pursue treatment, as 60% of women seeking IVF churn out directly due to expense. IVF services are prohibitively expensive for many women facing fertility challenges — as it stands today, a consumer’s fertility journey carries an average cost nearing $40k for families and $25k for employers. From the employer’s vantage point, more than 8 out of 10 employers consider it vital to offer health and wellness programs tailored specifically for women’s needs. Employers are also starting to recognize that fertility coverage attracts and retains employees, as 9 out of 10 employees struggling with fertility issues are willing to switch jobs specifically for fertility coverage. Nevertheless, only 27% of employers provide coverage for fertility benefits today. Many women — including younger women considering family planning in the medium to long term — are discussing fertility options with their employers and prioritizing fertility coverage over vacation and pension benefits. Even under the current backdrop of COVID-19, there continues to be a line of sight to increased demand for low-cost fertility and family planning solutions for employers. In a recent survey by Modern Fertility and Sofi, over 30% of respondents reported changing their fertility or family planning decisions entirely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, suggesting that egg freezing and overall fertility services demand will increase.
All of these factors and more are precisely what led Gina Bartasi and her co-founders to launch Kindbody. Kindbody, a full range IVF and fertility care company offering affordable family-building benefits, has been successful at demystifying the fertility journey and providing a better standard of care at more accessible prices. Launched in 2018, Kindbody has created an end-to-end women’s health services platform that will serve as a springboard to expand the spectrum of care to accommodate women’s health needs from adolescent to post-menopause.
When I first met Gina Bartasi and the Kindbody team at their flagship store on Fifth Avenue, it was clear that they were addressing women’s health differently and laser-focused on reimagining the patient experience from the ground up. Kindbody clinics award-winning design elevates its brand, mission, and care delivery to create a supportive environment that replaces the cold and sterile traditional doctor’s office. Moreover, Kindbody’s bundled rates offer care at a deep discount when compared to other fertility clinics, providing ~30%+ in cost savings for both employers and self-insured users alike. Case in point, typical Egg Freezing treatments in NYC run about $18k while Kindbody’s case rate is a mere $5K. Despite the discounted price points, Kindbody provides superior outcomes when compared to national clinics, with roughly 30% healthier pregnancies and 10% greater pregnancy success when compared to their peers. Along with fertility care, they offer mental health, gynecology, and nutrition under one roof, solving for the typically fragmented user experience. Additionally, Kindbody has assembled an impressive team of accomplished female executives with prior leadership experience at unicorns. CEO Gina Bartasi is a serial entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience in the fertility space and was the former Founder and CEO of Progyny (The first VC Backed Fertility Company to IPO). Other key executive team members include Joanne Schneider DeMeireles (Co-founder) who was previously at Flatiron Health and Google, Dr. Fahimeh Sasan (Founding Physician) who spent 12 years at Mount Sinai, Dr. Lynn Westphal (Chief Medical Officer) who hails from Stanford Medical School, and Shilpa Patel (Chief Legal and Business Officer) who was the former General Counsel of Quartet Health and Senior Corporate Counsel of Oscar Health.
Distributed Ventures has a strong conviction in Kindbody’s business given the team’s successful operational pedigree, impressive traction to date, strong product offering, and vision for the expansion of services in the future. We’re excited to partner with the team and are looking forward to helping them through the next stage of their journey.
Originally published at https://carolinarojasvc.medium.com on December 8, 2021.