Ovuline, the TechStars grad focused on increasing couples’ likelihood to conceive and guiding women through pregnancy, has raised $1.45 million in seed funding, the company announced this morning.
The round was led by Lightbank, with participation from Launch Capital, LionBird and Techstars founder David Cohen. Here’s how the company describes its product:
Launched in June 2012, Ovuline uses technology and machine learning to help couples have children. Its fertility product, Smart FertilityTM, has already helped 20,000 women. On average, Ovuline users conceive two times faster than the national average.
Additionally, Ovuline is currently developing a pregnancy-tracking product with top fertility doctors around the United States.Ovuline’s Pregnancy Tracker uses wearable health tracking devices and mobile technology to continuously monitor a woman’s key pregnancy health indicators, including weight, nutrition, activity, blood pressure, sleep and physical/emotional symptoms. Ovulineuses this data to alert women if they have an acute health risk, like preeclampsia, and gives them personalized advice on how to have a healthier pregnancy based on analysis of their unique data.
Ovuline was a standout at TechStars for two reasons: team and market. On the latter point, everyone I spoke to noted that pregnant women would be a segment willing to spend. On the former, investors and other observers spoke highly of CEO Paris Wallace, an HBS grad, TechStars mentor, and formerly founder of Good Start Genetics, which raised $30 million and continues to exist today.
“The Ovuline team is incredibly excited to receive the support of such high value-add financial partners who believe in our vision of using technology to make it easier and safer for couples to have children,” said Wallace, in a release. “The coming together of several major technology and healthcare trends are making it possible for women to improve their fertility and pregnancy outcomes like never before. This financing will help Ovuline to continue to pioneer efforts in providing women with tools that meaningfully change the way they have babies and track their pregnancies.”
It’s no secret that I think it’s going to be a big year for health IT in Boston, and Ovuline’s news is another data point in support of that thesis. And if you think about the wearable device movement, pregnancy is an interesting application. While some people can be interested in, say, tracking their steps daily just for the hell of it, pregnancy offers a more compelling need to better capture any and all health data minute-to-minute.
I’m looking forward to watching Ovuline’s progress in 2013.