London startup aiming to broaden access to IVF has raised $20 million (£14.75 million).
Gaia, which was founded in 2019 to make IVF more financially accessible, announced a $20 million investment from Atomico, adding to previous investment from Kindred Capital, Seedcamp and US based Clocktower Technology Ventures.
Gaia CEO and founder Nader AlSalim told the Standard: “15% percent of people need fertility treatment, and in the UK and the US less than 2% of those people actually end up accessing it.
“The gap between those who need access to fertility treatments and those who can afford access to treatment is the under-served market that we’re trying to create a category for.”
Gaia’s insurance product, which launches today, uses clinical data to predict the number of IVF rounds a couple will need. Those who do not have a live birth in the rounds subject to Gaia’s prediction technology will only pay a fraction of the treatment cost.
Couples who are successful will be able to spread the cost into manageable monthly payments over time.
Gaia claims to be the world’s first IVF insurance product, trading on the Lloyd’s of London market as a cover holder of Beazley.
As well as financial support, Gaia’s will offer access to a therapist for mental and emotional support.
AlSalim said: “Money is only one part of the problem. There is also a mental and emotional impact, which is huge and very taxing on the couple.
“We can’t really affect the physiology of the treatment, but we want to try to control all of the other variables, from access to information, to emotional support in the form of a therapist, or financial support in the form of our insurance product.”
AlSalim founded his startup after he and his wife experienced the frustrations and limitations of IVF. He named the startup after the Greek goddess of Earth, who gave birth without male assistance.
Today’s $20 million funding brings the company’s total investment to $23 million. Atomico partner Sasha Astafyeva will join the Gaia board as part of this investment.
She said: “With more people turning to fertility solutions, Gaia’s offer is well placed to play a vital role in helping huge numbers of families who are frozen out of the treatment process based solely on financial reasons beyond their control.”
Gaia, which was one of the Standard’s tech startups to watch in 2022, will use the funding to further scale its operations and begin to expand globally, targeting markets such as the US.