HLTH22: Women's health unicorn Maven Clinic lands $90M to build out its services, expand into Medicaid

Bucking current market conditions, startup Maven Clinic scored $90 million in fresh funding to expand its services for women's health and family care.

While it's been a seismic year for women’s health with this summer's U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, Maven has had a banner year reporting a 5x increase in the number of covered lives the company serves since its series D round in 2021, according to executives.

Maven reports having 15 million lives under management.

"What's so validating about this round is that our category is continuing to grow even as the economy is going, generally, in the other direction. It's clear that there has been a lot of unmet need across women's and family health for a very long time," Neel Shah, M.D., chief medical officer at Maven Clinic, said in an interview.

"The [COVID-19] pandemic took every inequity in our society through an internal pressure cooker, and a lot of that manifested in the well-being of moms and people that are building their families. And, of course, the Dobbs decision further restricted access. I think there's a sentiment in the country generally, irrespective of what's happening politically, that people want more access," he added.

With the funding boost, Maven plans to expand its global service offerings and family building, Shah said. "We're planning to go into Medicaid. We're planning to build out our menopause offerings. We're excited to keep plugging gaps [in women's health]," he said.

Maven also will use the fresh cash to continue to invest in personalization across its platform.

Neel Shah, M.D., chief medical officer and founder Kate Ryder
Maven's CMO Neel Shah, M.D., and founder Kate Ryder (Maven Clinic)

The startup has gained significant backers, and its series E round was led by General Catalyst with participation from CVS Health Ventures, La Famiglia and Intermountain Ventures as well as existing investors Sequoia, Oak HC/FT, Icon Ventures, Dragoneer Investment Group and Lux Capital.

Maven has raised $300 million to date, and the latest funding round boosts its valuation to $1.35 billion.

Maven Clinic, which calls itself the largest virtual clinic for family health, launched in 2014 and has rapidly grown, reportedly becoming the first female-focused health startup to surpass a $1 billion valuation in 2021, becoming a digital health "unicorn.

Maven claims to serve approximately half of the Fortune 15 companies and works with major national and regional health plans, representing more than 15 million lives globally. In the midst of sweeping legal constraints on reproductive rights in the country, the company expanded its platform to support members exploring pregnancy options including abortion, as well as beefed up its reimbursement offering to allow employers to reimburse employees’ medical travel costs. 

Earlier this year, Maven expanded its services to include a dedicated program for menopause and ongoing care. Within six weeks after launching that program, the company now has 1.2 million lives covered across 150 employer clients.

The company's accelerated growth, even amid a downturn in the economy, has been driven by demand for Maven's global fertility and maternity services bundle, executives said.

“At Maven, we have reimagined the care model to address the complex needs of women and families in a global system that was not designed for them,” said Kate Ryder, founder and CEO of Maven Clinic. “Whether it’s a pregnant woman faced with access issues in rural America, working parents in India needing financial support and navigation for infertility treatment, a same-sex couple facing bias in the opaque surrogacy industry, or a senior executive unable to get support for menopause, our platform shows up reliably, affordably, and relentlessly focused on patient outcomes.”

Maven focuses on offering an end-to-end global reproductive health and family care platform, from fertility and family building through maternity, parenting, pediatrics and menopause. Maven’s technology platform offers 24/7 virtual care, peer communities and concierge support to members across 175 countries.

Maven reports strong growth in international markets, tripling its covered lives outside of the U.S., with 60% of all multinational clients using Maven to support their employees around the world, executives said.

In the wake of the Dobbs decision, interest from corporate clients for benefits including travel reimbursement spiked, executives reported.

"From where we're positioned, we saw a significant number of employers across the country who turned to us for guidance on how they can support their employees. The average distance that people had to travel across the country, just on average, to access abortion care was 30 miles pre-Dobbs and now it's 100 miles. And that's on average. There are many parts of our country where people have to travel significantly further, " Shah said.

"There's a lot of employers heard directly from their employees that they were very, very concerned by this and needed help. We were able to work with them, for instance, to help design benefits that are supportive, to help reimburse travel, for instance. We stood up immediately a pregnancy options counseling service so that people had guidance around what their options are," he noted.

Maven reports that 95% of new clients offer two or more Maven programs to their employees.

Almost one-third of U.S. women of reproductive age live in states with restrictions on access to abortion, which makes Maven's services even more critical, executives said. Ryder says there is an urgent need for greater access to quality care as 15% of reproductive-age couples globally experience infertility and nearly 1 in 3 women say they have taken sick days for their menopause symptoms.

“Maven has already demonstrated incredible outcomes driving commercial traction and a breadth of coverage that we have not seen in a women’s and family care platform. The General Catalyst health assurance team and community is excited to join Maven in this exciting new phase of growth," said Holly Maloney, managing director at General Catalyst, in a statement.

Maven also appointed three executives as independent board members: Jennifer Schneider, M.D., co-founder and CEO of Homeward, former president of Livongo Health and board member of Cityblock Health; Yvette Bright, former chief operating officer of Independence Blue Cross; and Chris Klomp, technology entrepreneur and former CEO and chairman of Collective Medical.