Gaia is a startup that aims to “de-risk” the entire IVF reproductive treatment procedure. The company has recently completed a $20 million Series A investment round.
Gaia aims to reduce the risks associated with IVF fertility treatment by offering goods such as tailored insurance and payment options. Atomico, a London-based venture capital firm, led the startup’s $20 million Series A fundraising round. Kindred Capital, Seedcamp, and Clocktower Technology Ventures, all based in the United States, have previously invested. Gaia has already raised a total of $23 million. Sasha Astafyeva, an Atomico partner, will join the Gaia board of directors.
In addition to insurance and payment arrangements, Gaia claims to have predictive technology that forecasts the number of rounds a couple will likely require, as well as clinics that can provide the appropriate treatment, based on clinical data sets.
Gaia CEO and founder Nader AlSalim stated, “The fertility care model as we know it today is broken,” . “The divide between those who want access to fertility treatments and those who can afford it is bigger than ever. Three out of every four patients who seek fertility therapy never begin because they fear the financial burden will be prohibitively high. With only one in every seven people in the UK and US requiring IVF being able to obtain it, we need to rethink how people access, experience, and pay for physically and mentally draining procedures.”
According to him, Gaia’s model suggests that people who do not have a live delivery in the rounds exposed to Gaia’s prediction technology pay reduced treatment expenses.
Those who do have a baby spread the expense of their overall treatment cycles into monthly instalments, making it easier to budget for the entire cost.
Astafyeva noted, “A variety of issues – from dropping sperm rates to people having children later in life – are putting upward pressure on demand for fertility services. With more people turning to fertility solutions, Gaia’s offer is ideally positioned to play a key role in assisting vast numbers of families who are frozen out of the treatment process due to financial reasons beyond their control.”
This is Atomico’s Consumer Partner Astafyeva’s second investment (her first was Zapp’s Series A with Lightspeed) since joining as a partner from Felix Capital.
Nader AlSalim launched Gaia in 2019 when he and his wife had to use IVF and learned how unexpected the expenses of the therapy may be.
He told me: “We went into the journey of trying to conceive our first child and it took us five IVF rounds and three clinics across two countries and £50,000 pounds. We had the good fortune to have a child. Most individuals never make it, and I understood that the anguish isn’t just emotional and physical, but also costly.”
According to him, the wider reality is that while 15% of people now require fertility treatment, less than 2% of them receive it. “So the challenge that we’re really trying to solve is to offer individuals a layer of transparency and visibility, but also peace of mind, so that they can go pursue that treatment without fear of financial repercussions.”
But, more importantly, we simply want to open up that market to the underprivileged.”