Company Raises $2.8 Million in Seed Funding, with Key Angels, Institutional and Strategic Investors; Partners with Providers and Employers to Change the Standard of Care and Benefits
NEW YORK, April 27, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Frame Fertility launches to shift the conversation from infertility to fertility. Founded by a wife/husband team, Frame Fertility offers the first and only evidence-based, holistic platform for the early identification of fertility risk and care navigation. Frame Fertility's proactive solution empowers anyone that may want children someday to confidently take early action on their fertility health, and fill in the care gaps to improve overall health and drive better outcomes. Developed with clinical experts, Frame Fertility's approach alleviates a downstream and often costly fertility crisis for patients, employers and providers.
Led by Looking Glass Capital, and with participation from Flare Capital Partners, Great Oaks Venture Capital, Healthworx and Brand Foundry Ventures, Frame Fertility is announcing a $2.8 million seed funding round to support the growing need for innovative and equitable fertility solutions that change the status quo.
"We are excited about the significant momentum in the market and the opportunity to expand our impact through this fundraise," said Frame Fertility CEO and Co-Founder Jessica Bell van der Wal. "While employer coverage for fertility benefits is growing, today's solutions are anchored around reactive, treatment-based solutions and often focused solely on women, who are only 50% of the equation. We need to help everyone get the care and support they need before it becomes a crisis; a better solution for people of all races, ethnicities, gender identities and sexual orientations, both single and partnered."
With only 14% of women receiving preconception care or counseling, Frame Fertility's suite of services solves for a key gap in care by surfacing risks, such as endometriosis, early to ensure that root causes or symptoms are addressed before conception to facilitate a smoother pregnancy and delivery and improve the health of the parent(s) and child. In the U.S., roughly one in eight couples struggle with infertility, and today's answer primarily hinges on expensive treatment as the only option. Dealing with these fertility challenges can have a devastating effect on people's lives, from their relationships and mental health, to their finances and productivity. The psychological burden is the number one reason people drop out of fertility treatment; 90% of people undergoing treatment report depression, and 42% report feeling suicidal. Reliance on treatment also further exacerbates another challenge lingering from the pandemic - women exiting the workforce due to regular doctor visits and the mental, physical and emotional toll.
"The Great Resignation has challenged employers to get creative with benefits in efforts to retain and attract the best talent and increase DEI credentials. We were eager to roll out Frame because it's about a better outcome for our employees and their families," said Shannon Espinola, vice president of global human resources, OpenX. "I've witnessed the toll of infertility treatments and twists and turns the journey can take. Frame is completing our fertility offering to engage a broader set of our employees now, before it's too late. Employees can be single, male, in their 20s and Frame can help."
Jessica and her husband and Chief Product Officer, Corey van der Wal, started the company in collaboration with a team of clinical and scientific experts and began piloting their solution with clinicians in 2021. Their product reframes the conversation about health, starting with something that people care about, their families.
Steps in the Frame Fertility journey include:
- A fertility score and assessment of the individual and/or couple.
- Personalized 1:1 coaching and ongoing support in collaboration with a trained coach.
- Care navigation and the ability to take action – connecting with a provider, an employer benefit or service, educational content or accessing discounted products and services through Frame's selected partners such as Oova, Fellow, Everlywell, Sunfish and Territory Foods.
Dr. Annelise Swigert, an OB/GYN and physician executive, is using Frame at her practice to engage patients in their fertility, as well as their overall preventive care. "As a provider, I am constantly seeking evidence-based tools that engage patients and lead to healthier outcomes. I see every day the immense emotional and physical toll of an infertility diagnosis. The reality is that whether partnered or single, we can help people be proactive with their fertility, their family planning, and help them understand and achieve their goals."
Initial results reveal that Frame is engaging users early, at a time when they are not actively trying to conceive. Ninety percent of users are in their 20s and early 30s and are just curious, or starting to plan. After using Frame:
- 88% of Frame Fertility's users report health improvement as a result of their platform
- 90% feel more confident in their care
- 82% of users uncover new and significant risk factors such as undiagnosed endometriosis and PCOS which have broad reaching implications on overall health and costs if left untreated
"Today's consumers lack the support and guidance needed to best plan for expanding their families – often leaving them stunned and confused by an infertility diagnosis. I, myself, was overwhelmed by the whole experience," said Jessica Bell van der Wal.
"It was more than a year into our fertility process before I was finally evaluated," said Corey van der Wal. "Let's bring men and the LGBTQ community into the frame too. I was never asked about any infertility challenges, much less tested, even though at least one-third of infertility is due to 'male factor' issues. And LGBTQ people planning families, especially those using fertility treatment, surrogacy, or adoption, are often literally left out of the picture. We have built an easy-to-use, research-based platform that puts everyone into the equation."
Notable angel investors in Frame Fertility include Christine Hsu Evans, chief marketing and strategy officer, Headspace Health, Julie Cheek, CEO/founder, Everly Health, and Giovanni Colella, founder, Castlight, OODA and Brightline Health.
"We are excited about the differentiated approach that Frame is taking. There is nothing else like it out there when it comes to treating people's fertility health journeys holistically, and the potential impact across stakeholders, ranging from patients to providers to payers to employers, is vast," said Adam Besvinick, founder and managing partner at Looking Glass Capital.
About Frame Fertility
Frame Fertility is on a mission to reframe health by shifting the conversation from infertility to fertility. Founded in 2020, Frame Fertility is the first and only evidence-based platform that enables the early identification of fertility risk and care navigation leading to better fertility and overall health. Developed with clinical experts, Frame Fertility's approach alleviates a downstream and often costly fertility crisis for patients, employers and providers. Frame was inspired by the challenging fertility journey of its wife/husband co-founders and digital health experts, Jessica and Corey, who are dedicated to giving everyone the power to pursue parenthood confidently, and on their own terms. For more information, visit us at framefertility.com and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.
SOURCE Frame Fertility