Fertility Care for Everyone: Carrot Brings Inclusive Benefits to Companies

Stephanie Palmeri
Apr 17 · 4 min read
Photo by Richard Bagan on Unsplash

Today, fertility technologies to support modern families are better than ever, but affordability stands in the way of accessibility. Prohibitive out-of-pocket costs and the limited scope of employer-sponsored fertility benefits severely restricts access (and hope) for the millions of individuals and couples who want to have children. While the fertility market is growing, unlocking affordability is the key to transforming and democratizing the space. This opportunity, coupled with my own personal fertility journey, made me hungry to fund a company focused on expanding financial access to fertility care for all people.

Enter Carrot. Tammy Sun and the team at Carrot believe that every human being should have the ability to preserve or pursue the decision to bring children into their lives. I met with Tammy in 2016 shortly after she left Evernote and inspired to launch Carrot following her own frustrating and expensive experience with fertility preservation. I was so aligned with her vision and impressed by her early execution that I led Carrot’s seed round of financing in August 2017. Today, I’m thrilled to share news of their Series A led by CRV.

Carrot’s funding recognizes the important and growing role companies play in providing their employees with access to fertility care. Carrot’s platform provides employers with a customizable fertility benefit that fits their budget and offers employees a better care experience — before, during, and after treatments like basic fertility testing, egg freezing, IVF, surrogacy, and adoption. And as Carrot expands its footprint, this ultimately means more individuals and families will have more options and financial support along their fertility journeys.

Just about every potential consumer of fertility coverage falls somewhere on the spectrum from underserved to unserved today. A common misperception is that medical insurance includes fertility benefits. In reality, most medical coverage is limited to a narrow medical diagnosis of “infertility” — heterosexual couples who have tried naturally without success for a defined period of time — and rarely does coverage extend to IVF treatments for those who qualify. As a result, standard coverage leaves out a lot of people who get stuck footing the bill. Carrot’s B2B2C approach is modern and flexible, empowering all employees to access the care they want, when they want it. It’s health tech for all people, regardless of sex, sexual orientation, age or gender identity, including:

  • the fast-growing population of women/men who want to preserve fertility through egg/sperm freezing
  • lesbian and gay couples, as well as single individuals, who use fertility treatments for family-building
  • transgender people who seek to preserve future fertility options
  • all people who seek services like genetic screening, surrogacy, and adoption

Individuals and families are having children later than ever before, and they want more choice in how they start and grow their families. Affordability limits (and prohibits) access to the care they want and need; the financial stress leads to debt and suboptimal care decisions, such as transferring multiple embryos at once to lower cycle costs.

Pragmatic employers inherently understand the ROI of a managed care fertility program vs. unmanaged care. The latter can cost a company millions per year in IVF-related high-risk pregnancies and births. They understand the need to offer parity with inclusive fertility support across their workforce. And they understand the retention value as employees grow more compelled to switch jobs to access fertility coverage at a company that views this benefit as important as medical, dental and vision.

Carrot is leading with a scalable cost solution that can enable millions more people — who otherwise would never seek the fertility care they need or want — to pursue their own unique family journeys. In this first year and a half, I’ve been blown away by the diversity of organizations (including tech, legal, finance, non-profit, consulting) moving to provide this important human health benefit for their workforce and embracing Carrot as their solution for employees across forty countries. This is just the starting point of Carrot’s own journey to unlock tremendous long-term value in an extremely impactful space. Congratulations to Tammy and the entire Carrot team. I’m excited for you and all the families you will help on their fertility journeys.

Stephanie Palmeri

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tech junkie. travel addict. food fanatic. music lover. yoga poser. venture capitalist @UncorkCap. displaced NYC gal. loving life in SF. [opinions are my own]