The lion’s share of investment in women’s health is related to fertility and maternal care. That leaves a major gap in caring for women after their fertile years. One company that wants to fill that gap closed its $25 million Series A funding round Wednesday.
“What we have seen is that most resources in healthcare for women are put toward fertility and children and babies,” said Joanna Strober, CEO and founder of Midi Health, in an interview this week. “After delivering their children, women often don’t get expert female-focused care. They may go to a primary care physician, but that primary care physician often doesn’t have any training in perimenopause or menopause.”
Palo Alto, California-based Midi Health is a virtual clinic for women ages 35 to 65 and supports them during the perimenopause and menopause stages. Perimenopause is the period of time when the body transitions to menopause. Specifically, the company treats women for mental health challenges, body changes, hot flashes, sleep problems and painful sex, among other conditions. It offers medications, supplements, lifestyle coaching and 24/7 messaging. It is in-network with insurers — including Aetna, UnitedHealthcare and Cigna — and works with employers as well.
Now, the company is looking to expand its reach after securing its $25 million in Series A financing. The funding round was led by Google Ventures. In total, Midi Health has raised $40 million, including from Felicis, Semper Virens, Icon, 25M and Operator Collective. With the financing, Midi Health is planning for nationwide expansion by the end of 2024, Strober said. Currently, the company serves patients in 13 states.
Google Ventures chose to invest in Midi Health because of the hole it’s filling in healthcare, said Frederique Dame, general partner of the firm.
“Midi has seen meaningful traction since its launch and takes an innovative approach to address an unmet need for nearly half the global population,” Dame said in a statement. “Midi’s world-class executive and advisory team has decades of clinical and healthcare expertise and a vision for personalized, affordable, and accessible midlife care.”
But there are other virtual health companies also targeting the demographic that Midi is looking to serve. They include Gennev and Evernow, both of which also treat conditions like painful sex, body changes and hot flashes. Gennev and Midi Health both recently partnered with Progyny, a benefits management company that has traditionally specialized in fertility and family-building support. By partnering with Gennev and Midi Health, Progyny expanded into offering menopause support for employees of its employer clients.
There is a reason that multiple companies are hoping to support women approaching or in menopause. About 15% of women work fewer hours or miss work because of menopause symptoms, costing employers about $1.8 billion annually in lost wages, according to a recent Mayo Clinic study. Strober believes the best way to support those going through perimenopause and menopause is virtually.
“I really believe that virtual care is the perfect way to solve this care gap for women,” she said. “About 95% of the care that women need post-fertility can be done virtually. We want to fill that gap.”
She added that one way the company is doing this is by training its providers in menopause treatment through its program called Midi University. The program includes 20 hours of training in specific menopause symptoms.
Photo: Peter Dazeley, Getty Images