Posterity picks up $6M to address male fertility needs

Posterity Health, a digital healthcare company dedicated to male fertility care, raised $ 6 million in seed funding led by Distributed Ventures, the parties tells Axios exclusively.

Why it matters: Male fertility needs are often overlooked when couples are struggling to conceive. Parker, Colorado-based Posterity empowers couples through education and increases access to care.

  • The result? A greater likelihood of either natural fertilization or via IVF after early intervention and treatment of a male diagnosis, the company says.

Details: Digital health executives who have joined the funding include Gerry McCarthy, CEO of Merative, Laurie McGraw, former SVP of Health Solutions at the AMA, and Don Holzworth, entrepreneur and chair of the Advisory Board at the UNC Gillings School of Public Health.

Zoom in: Male infertility is a contributing factor 50% of the time a couple struggles to conceive, but Posterity says men are tested for infertility in less than half of the cases.

  • The male partner is only evaluated for an average of 15 to 18 months in a couple’s journey to get pregnant, CEO Pam Pure tells Axios. “What needs to happen is simultaneous evaluation of both partners at the beginning of that process.”

How it works: Posterity offers integrated male fertility testing and treatment, combing virtual visits, home diagnostics and personal consultations.

  • Male fertility specialists work directly with ob-gyns, fertility centers and fertility benefit managers.
  • Services include baseline assessments, sperm preservation, semen analysis, pregnancy loss consultations, diagnostic upgrades, vasectomy reversal and sex reassignment care.

Game status: With only 200 male fertility specialists nationwide, there is a significant supply shortage and access problem given the geographical concentration around large cities.

  • That structural imbalance is a perfect case for Posterity’s virtual first model, according to Pure and Shawn Ellis, managing partner at Distributed Ventures.

Yes, and: The rapid evolution of the repayment landscape is poised to drive a “sea change” in fertility care that positions the Offspring for growth, Pure says.

  • From 2023, almost all fertility benefit managers will cover male fertility services, from just one player with limited coverage 12 months ago, she says.
  • In the employer space, Ellis sees a long-term opportunity to include a pre-authorization that brings the male side of fertility care into the scale: “There is a pretty elegant but also fundamental plan design that can be customized to ensure people are aware is of this benefit. “

Between the lines: Because male fertility care is never covered by commercial insurance, there is white space to create a dataset around semen analysis and other male fertility conditions, Ellis and Pure say.

  • By collaborating with pharmaceutical companies on clinical trials, Pure says, Posterity aims to gain insights that can better drive predictive care.

Flash back: Pure, whose digital health background includes roles at HealthMEDX and McKesson, founded Posterity in 2021 with her husband Barrett Cowan, a 25-year-old male fertility specialist.

  • When COVID-19 hit, they introduced him to telecom health: “What was a 10-minute visit to the office in a urology practice turned into a 45-minute discussion about telecom health,” Pure recalls. “Suddenly people called us from different states.”
  • Distributed Ventures also holds a record in women’s health, with predecessor NFP Ventures an early investor in fertility benefits manager Kindbody.

What’s next: The funding will enable Posterity to scale and expand access to care, including by:

  • Build hubs across the country so patients have optional access to personalized complementary care.
  • Development of a clinical education program and standardized protocols for nurses and physician assistants.

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