Insights & News

Introducing Modern Fertility


David Wu

“Women spend much of their lives thinking about one of two things: how not to get pregnant or how to get pregnant.  At the same time, these thoughts are often laced with nervousness, fear, confusion, and embarrassment.”

This is how one of my female partners described the problem, and I started to write today’s blog post with that introduction, only to realize how different the sentiment reads coming from a middle-aged male.  I can only see the TechCrunch headline and Twitter response in my head, “Another Male dominated VC says women spend all their time thinking about getting pregnant.”

In a VC world where only 9% of decision makers are female and a startup environment where only 15% of venture dollars go to female founders, it makes statistical sense as to why I might be the right person to fund this company, and at the same time, be completely ill-equipped to be a credible mouthpiece for the company.  And that’s a lot of the basis for the problem.

Despite the fact that “86% of women have anxiety about their ability to have kids in the future,” we are faced with a medical industry where 70% of physicians are male, healthcare bills that directly affect women are largely voted on by male politicians, and most of the founders and investors working on women’s healthcare are male.  It’s not difficult to see why most of the medical progress has been on the technological front, from accurate period tracking and convenient birth control, to egg freezing and IVF, yet at the same time the topic of women’s reproductive health especially as applied to her own body is still laced with taboo and fear, and she is left to navigate a confusing maze of misinformation and expensive procedures all on her own.

The most ironic thing about this contrast is that we are finally in an era where most Western, modern women have numerous options and have actionable decisions that they can make at every stage of their lives.  For the first time, armed with more insights and knowledge, women should be able to make more informed decisions, adjust the timing of these choices, and feel more confident in their reproductive and health journey.

This is where Modern Fertility comes in.

Afton and Carly started Modern Fertility with a common passion around empowering women to own their fertility and their futures.  The two founders bring both healthcare and technology experience to their roles as founders, having worked at 23andMe, Google, and Uber. But more importantly, they share a common vision of the world where women are empowered to make more informed decisions about their health.  They are obsessed with building a ubiquitous digital health brand that can give peace of mind, confidence, and community in this category currently marked by fear and confusion.

At Maveron we invest in bold entrepreneurs pushing the limits of where humanity meets technology and who are working tirelessly to build companies that can fundamentally change people’s lives.  Let’s face it, I’m a middle-aged guy, but also proud to be a married man and father of two amazing girls.  I’ve had the privilege of working with Afton and Carly from day one, see the importance of including many voices and perspectives in this conversation, and believe that there has never been a better or more important time to build this company.  We are incredibly excited to welcome Afton, Carly, and the Modern Fertility team into the Maveron extended family.

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