Around 1.3 million women in the U.S. begin menopause every year. While some experience menopause with little trouble, others suffer for years from symptoms like hot flashes, insomnia and increased anxiety. Yet an estimated 75% of the women who seek medical treatment for significant menopausal symptoms don’t receive it.
Evernow set out to fix that. The women’s health startup just raised $28.5 million in series A funding to provide virtual menopause treatment, including hormone therapies and 24/7 support.
The company also boasts a high-profile group of female investors. Members of the so-called “First Circle” include actresses like Gwyneth Paltrow, Drew Barrymore and Cameron Diaz; soccer star Abby Wambach; author Glennon Doyle and powerful executives like Morgan Stanley’s Carla Harris and Care.com founder Sheila Marcelo.
Evernow CEO and founder Alicia Jackson, Ph.D., said the company chose those partners for their ability to speak up where advocacy for women’s health has historically been lacking.
“Women going through the healthcare system understand where the gaps are in a way that I don’t think men do,” Jackson said. “You realize how easy it is to get dropped through the cracks, and how much science and knowledge is missing. That’s very frustrating as a woman—as a human, period.”
Jackson and her co-founder Aaron Gotwalt started Evernow in 2019. While Jackson had been fascinated with fertility care for years, in digging deeper and in going through in vitro fertilization treatments herself, she said she was stunned at the dearth of awareness and research around the entire period of perimenopause and menopause, which can span up to 20 years in total.
“This is about to happen to me, and why hasn’t a doctor told me about this? There doesn’t seem to be any easy way to get care or clear, evidence-based research on what you should be doing with your body,” she recalls wondering. “This is unacceptable. There’s a huge gap here that needs to be filled.”
Jackson emphasized her desire to provide “gold-standard treatments” from Evernow’s launch. A subscription includes unlimited access to the startup’s medical team and the delivery of hormone therapies estradiol or paroxetine, supplemented with progesterone when needed.
Members pay between $75 and $129 per month for the services.
The startup is also using its clinically-validated health intakes to fill gaps in menopause research. In a survey of 100,000 women experiencing menopause who filled out Evernow’s intake form, 75% reported experiencing fatigue and low energy, weight changes, sleep disruption and brain fog. Almost two-thirds of women (60%) reported anxiety or depression, night sweats, hot flashes and joint or muscular pain.
Women of varying racial and ethnic backgrounds may also have different needs in menopause treatments. Black women, in particular, have reported longer-lasting and more severe menopause symptoms than other racial groups for years, a finding echoed in Evernow’s study.
The company said it has submitted a paper for academic publication on the topic of health equity in menopause treatments, and that it takes these factors into account in tailoring its treatments to fit each patient.
In addition to funding the company’s research and product development based on that research, the series A funding will go towards hiring talent and attracting more members, the company said.
Venture capital firm NEA led the round with participation from 8VC, Refactor Capital, Coelius Capital and other investors.
“We’ve spent a significant amount of time exploring the women’s health space and were stunned at how little attention has been focused on the menopause market despite its permanence and enormity,” said Vanessa Larco, partner at NEA, in a statement. “When we first met Evernow, we were impressed by the caliber of expertise on the team, their early traction and their tech-enabled and science-based approach to treatment, resources and communication. We are thrilled to partner with Evernow to fuel a new era of prioritizing women’s health.”
More and more tech-enabled women’s health startups are convincing investors to take out their wallets, with $1.3 in venture capital funding going towards the subsector last year.
While fertility treatments and benefits for women under 40 are a more common focus, other companies are turning their attention to menopause, too. Carrot Fertility rolled out coverage options for menopause support in mid-March.
Co-founder and CEO of Carrot Tammy Sun told Fierce Healthcare that menopause support could also help women boost productivity and job satisfaction at work. In a January survey by Koru Kids, 18% of women aged 46 to 67 said they were considering quitting their jobs due to menopause symptoms.