How compassion and inclusivity are helping Kindbody change the fertility industry • TechCrunch

Kindbody TC-1 Part 1: Origin Story

When the subject of fertility comes up, we often hear hushed tones discussing someone else’s or their own journey through infertility. Sure, celebs have started talking about it, but we’re rarely taught about it in health class. Nor is it typically a topic of discussion over holiday hors d’oeuvres.

At a time when the world is fighting inequalities around health and well-being, reproductive health care is still largely ignored in the conversation. The science and medicine surrounding fertility is presented with an air of complexity that more often than not leaves patients feeling lost, scared and alone.

Changing a system that is reactionary instead of proactive is far from simple. To make even marginal improvement, one would have to thread the needle of education and accessibility—and perhaps put compassion over profits and growth.

Friendly body appears to be one of the few startups in the space that is well on its way to tackling this big challenge. Its approach is also drastically different from most fertility service providers — it has savvy, intelligent marketing; a technology-enabled and fully virtual care facility; a focus on compassion; and sufficient customer education to help patients feel involved and understood.

Today, the company has 12 outlets in 10 cities in the US and is rapidly ramping up its scaling efforts with over $154 million raised to date. Aiming to be a one-stop shop for fertility, gynecological and wellness services, Kindbody provides services to heterosexual couples, single mothers by choice and members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Gina Bartasi launched Kindbody, her third fertility startup, in 2018 after her own journey helped her understand how broken and antagonistic the system is. With an eye toward inclusivity, holistic care, and reducing the friction in the patient process, Bartasi and her team have created one of the few companies in healthcare that is making a difference.

The first thing I noticed on my fertility journey was that every doctor I saw in the fertility industry was an older white male. Gina Bartasi, founder of Kindbody

In this first part of this TC-1, we’re going to explore Bartasi’s journey, the issues in the fertility space, the difference clear pricing and communication can make, and how eliminating the white coats and displaying degrees around the offices has helped Kindbody . becoming one of the preferred destinations for fertility treatments.

Discuss how we approach fertility

Bartasi originally ran a media company in Atlanta, but sold it after getting married and moving to New York to be with her husband. When she was 38, she and her husband decided to start having a baby, and, like many women a decade ago, were met with an experience that was far from the warmth and care that one would expect on would expect such an intimate time.

“The first thing I noticed on my fertility journey was that every doctor I saw in the fertility industry was an older white man,” she told me. “I was treated as a subordinate, as if the doctor was omniscient and our mission was to do exactly what he said, even if I paid $25,000, whether I had any success or not.”

Gina Bartasi, founder of Kindbody

Gina Bartasi, founder of Kindbody. Image credits: Friendly body

This experience prompted her to launch her first fertility startup in 2008, Fertility Authority, a content platform and fertility clinic review site for those facing infertility.

A few years later, in 2015, the company was renamed Progyny after being bought by Kleiner Perkins and TPG Biotech. The content platform was maintained, but the company’s focus shifted to selling fertility benefits to confident employers.

While a fertility insurance solution seemed like a good idea, the reality of how health care is set up in the US created some significant roadblocks.

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