Ro will acquire women's health startup Modern Fertility in $225M deal

Digital health company Ro is adding reproductive health to its growing platform with plans to acquire Modern Fertility.

The deal, announced Wednesday, is valued north of $225 million, according to sources familiar with the deal.

Modern Fertility launched in 2017 offering at-home fertility tests for women.

The acquisition significantly expands Ro's women's health offering, adding Modern Fertility to the company's vertically integrated primary care platform. Following the integration, Modern Fertility co-founders Afton Vechery and Carly Leahy will lead Ro's women's health vertical, which will be uniquely positioned to become the first choice for women's healthcare needs, according to the company.

Vechery will become president of women's health at Ro, and Leahy will become vice president of brand, women's health at Ro.

Ro started out four years ago selling erectile dysfunction medication and hair loss supplements to men. The company has since built out a telehealth company with three online health clinics, and, now, it wants to expand into remote monitoring for chronic conditions. The startup has a vertically integrated platform that includes nationwide telemedicine, pharmacy distribution, and in-home care network. 

RELATED: Ro clinches $500M series D to scale telehealth, online pharmacy, in-home care services

Ro also is venturing into the home-based healthcare market with its recent acquisition of software company Workpath.

Since its founding in 2017, Ro has facilitated more than six million digital healthcare visits in nearly every county in the United States, including 98% of primary care deserts. 

In March, Ro banked a $500 million series D round led by existing investors General Catalyst, FirstMark Capital and TQ Ventures. The funding round valued the New York City-based startup at $5 billion. It has raised $876 million to date. 

"What excited us most about Modern Fertility is their relentless focus on the customer, their unique, proactive approach to fertility and women's health, and the fact that Afton and Carly live and breathe Modern Fertility with every ounce of their being. Together they've created, in our opinion, a women's health company that is defining of a generation," Zachariah Reitano, co-founder and chief executive officer of Ro said in a statement.

Funding for women-focused digital-health startups rose 105% last year to $418 million and was spread across 22 companies, nearly twice the number from a year earlier, according to Rock Health, a San Francisco-based seed and early-stage venture fund.

About 1 in 6 couples struggle to conceive and yet there are only about 500 infertility clinics nationwide, said Vechery, chief executive officer of Modern Fertility.

RELATED: Digital health startup Ro expands into home-based care with Workpath acquisition

Modern Fertility is among a crop of startups disrupting traditional fertility services with technology-enabled platforms. The company provides at-home tests and digital tools, backed by physicians and research. The startup's flagship product, its Hormone Test, provides ongoing insight about fertility and how it's changing over time for a fraction of the historical cost.

Its flagship product is a $159 finger prick test that can estimate a woman's ovarian reserve, or how many eggs a woman may have left, which can help determine which fertility method might be best.

In the last year, Modern Fertility expanded its offering to include its quantitative ovulation test, early detection pregnancy test, cycle tracking app, and digital fertility tracking tools. 

"We started Modern Fertility to transform women's health from reactive to proactive.  We now have the opportunity to dramatically accelerate our vision of supporting women in every single step of the journey in reproductive care and beyond. With Ro, we will be able to drive better outcomes and lower costs for millions of women—and redefine women's health as we know it," Vechery said.

Modern Fertility will integrate with Ro's nationwide platform and infrastructure to scale its operations and existing offerings and build new personalized healthcare experiences, according to the company. The acquisition will also deepen the impact of Ro's existing women's healthcare vertical, leveraging Modern Fertility's research capabilities, deep community, and team of reproductive health experts to address more women's healthcare demands throughout its platform.