Our Investment in Future Family
Education, Support, & Financing for the Modern Fertility Process
At LaunchCapital, while Seed stage investing is really our “bread-and-butter”, when truly extraordinary entrepreneurs build a remarkable business to solve large and important problems… then, well, exceptions can and will be made. The exceptional entrepreneurs in reference are Claire Tomkins and Eve Blossom of Future Family and we are so excited and proud to invest in their $10M Series A round announced last week!
According to the latest Pew Research Center data, US millennials are getting married later and later, with the median marrying age now 27 & 29 for women and men respectively, up from 21 & 23 in the 1970s. This generational shift has also corresponded with an increase in the average age of first birth for US mothers to 26 years old, up from 21 in the 1970s and age 31 for fathers, up from 27. The positive reasons for this shift include better opportunities for college or graduate education, especially for women, as well as advancements and greater access to birth control which have led to a historic decline in teenage pregnancy. With all these social advancements, as more couples also choose to delay childbirth to their 30s or 40s, fertility complications have become more widespread today than ever before.
With age, fertility problems increase with the NIH data showing women in their 30s are “about half as fertile” as women in their 20s. With this delay in starting a family, the fertility market has grown to $4-5 billion in the US, thanks in part to the exorbitant cost of many fertility procedures. One cycle of in-vitro fertilization (IVF) costs on average $24,000 in the US, and it often takes more than one cycle to work.
Consider that the increase in college attendance by women, who make up 56% of today’s college students, has also coincided with skyrocketing price of higher education, and thus student debt, in the US, over the last generation. 44% of women have more than $30,000 in college debt, (vs. 27% of men) and importantly, of the women surveyed who have student debt, exactly half said it impacts their decision to have children.
As couples face the financial realities of starting a family in the US today, the lack of affordable and reliable options for those seeking personal fertility advice, support, and treatment are contributing to “America’s looming fertility collapse”. Combining advances in FinTech, fertility care, and telehealth, Future Family is providing a much-awaited solution to this critical consumer health need.
Future Family is an end-to-end direct-to-consumer platform that provides thousands of women and couples with a better understanding of reproductive health, offer concierge care from real nurses to help them understand their treatment options, and tailored financial packages to defray the formerly prohibitive cost of these treatments. Their unique approach was compelling to us for many reasons:
First, a byproduct of the lack of an open, public conversation around infertility is that there is a real lack of information (or worse, misinformation) about the IVF, egg freezing, or fertility testing process. Fertility treatment is often an emotionally stressful endeavor and that goes for women as well as men. CEO and co-founder Claire Tomkins shared that they “are seeing a huge level of interest around male fertility. When we look at the difference between men and women on our website, men actually have longer sessions.” In building their consumer engagement platform and nurse concierge service, Future Family owns the relationship with the customer and supports them in this important journey from fact-finding through to treatment.
Second, even though the fertility sector has experienced rapid growth and despite the premium cost of fertility procedures, the customer experience, especially at the clinic level, has remained a frustration. Future Family’s Touchpoint platform decouples payment management from the clinic experience, “so the doctor and nurse team can focus exclusively on delivering world-class fertility medicine”. To ensure a consistency of care and develop trust in the experience, Future Family is building the largest network of the preferred clinics in the US. In these ways, they are helping to re-align incentives for caregivers and deliver higher satisfaction and more successful outcomes to women and couples.
Lastly, beyond the gap in education and customer service, barriers remain around affordability and accessibility. Majority of treatments today are paid with cash, out of pocket, or with funds raised via some kind of DIY bank/lender financing option. Clinics may be great at advising on treatment but are ill-suited to opine on financing. Claire and her impressive team, however, are building on years of experience at Solar City and have scoped out fertility financing in a more transparent, affordable, and scalable way. The importance of the mission emanates from the top of the organization as Claire dealt firsthand with the fragmented and isolating fertility process, having gone through six rounds of IVF, costing more than $100,000, to conceive her daughter.
We are so enthused to invest in yet another impressive female-founded and led team, this time alongside the inimitable Theresia Gouw and Laura Kolodny from Aspect Ventures, as well as BBG Ventures, inovia capital, Riverpark Ventures among many other great investors. We first met Claire and Future Family almost a year ago and since then she and her stellar team have continued to build awareness of their offerings, have recruited top talent to execute on the vision, and have consistently provided a top-rated customer experience. We are truly honored to have the chance to support them in this next phase of their growth.
If you haven’t seen Claire and Eve’s impressive presentation at last year’s Techcrunch Disrupt yet, do yourself a favor and watch it right away! We’re confident it will inspire you to consider one or more of the open positions on Future Family’s growing team:
Most importantly, if you are considering fertility-related procedures or even just want to learn more and plan for the future, please consider Future Family and chat with one of their amazing nurses via the concierge service. This is one of the most important decisions young couples will make and you should not have to feel confused or alone when Future Family is here to support you every step of the way!