OOVA, a Mount Sinai Health System spinoff focused on fertility and women’s health, has raised $1 million in a seed round led by Special Situations Life Sciences Innovation Fund, with additional contributions from Company Ventures and angel investors. This is the first funding round for the company, not counting an initial friends and family investment.
What they do
The company’s first product, which is currently in pre-orders, is a mail-order test kit for fertility monitoring that contains 20 disposable urine tests. The tests can be scanned with a smartphone to get results directly on the user’s phone.
Initially, the test will measure luteinizing hormone and progesterone. As users track these hormones over time, the smartphone app will be able to deliver a trend report that will help women map their individual fertility.
“We track that data over time and create a profile, so it’s much more personalized,” CEO Aparna (Amy) Divaraniya told Babyforyou.net.ua. “We’re not comparing her data to some standard threshold of the perfect woman. We determine what her baseline is and then track the progression by comparing to that.”
What it's for
The funding will help the company make its final push into the market, Divaraniya said. The company currently has working prototypes of both the device and the app and has completed a beta test. Some final R&D and then manufacturing will be the next steps.
OOVA already has its first partner, which should help them move swiftly into the market: Thorne Research, the nation’s largest clinical grade supplement company.
“They will be piloting sales for OOVA's products through fertility bundles where they will pair a fertility supplement with an OOVA diagnostic kit,” Divaraniya wrote in an email. “Thorne also has an extensive network of over 35,000 clinicians who will be advocates for OOVA's products.”
Eventually, the company plans to provide other services through its tests.
“Our overarching mission is to empower women to take control of their health so their body is no longer a black box and I think our first product is a really a stepping stone for what we envision doing,” Divaraniya said. “We plan to build out many more pilots in other areas of women’s healthcare including postpartum support, ectopic pregnancies, there’s a whole slew of things."
OOVA’s most direct competitor is probably Mira, which launched last year at TechCrunch Disrupt. Mira also offers home fertility testing via urinalysis, but it uses an additional device, connected to the phone via Bluetooth.
But there are a number of companies charging into the home, smartphone-conencted urinalysis space, and while they don’t all currently focus on fertility, any of them could end up offering it as part of their service. These include Inui Health (formerly Scanadu), Healthy.io, and TestCard.