Jul 23, 2022 - Health

Investors knocking loudly on pre-IPO Kindbody's door

Illustration of a hand holding a pregnancy test and a hand holding a vial of blood.
Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

Tech-enabled fertility provider Kindbody has not seen investor interest wane, and it has plans for acquisitions and a likely IPO next year.

Why it matters: Observers anticipated that the Supreme Court reversal of Roe v. Wade could have worrying implications for fertility and IVF providers.

What they're saying: ​​"[Investor] appetite is very high," Kindbody Chair Gina Bartasi says. "I have not seen any investor interest wane from ramifications of Roe versus Wade."

Between the lines: That doesn't mean there wasn't some initial concern. Bartasi tells Axios that she's been in touch with patients — and existing and prospective investors — since the draft decision leaked in May.

  • She says the American Society for Reproductive Medicine's June review of current state trigger laws and their potential impact was an invaluable resource in quelling investor worries, as it indicated no immediate material effect on Kindbody’s business — for now.
  • "We're taking it state by state," Bartasi says. "Now, if laws change in six months, in 16 months, in 16 years, we'll evaluate."

State of play: This fall, the company will open four new fertility clinics — two in Texas (one of the trigger states identified in the report) and one each in Arkansas and California.

  • Kindbody is seeing increased demand from patients based in trigger states, Bartasi says, citing requests from Missouri-based patients seeking care in Illinois. (See Axios's map of abortion availability.)
  • With 28 clinics live, she says patients are able to transfer their embryos from trigger states to other locations as needed.

What’s next: Kindbody is mulling a crossover round before a likely IPO next year, provided the public markets recover, Bartasi tells Axios.

  • "We anticipate that markets will reopen at the beginning of 2023 and that Kindbody will be ready," Bartasi says. "We know there's a strong appetite from public market investors to put more money to work in women's health solutions."

By the numbers: Kindbody expects to be cash-flow positive in nine months, Bartasi tells Axios.

  • In the last 60 days, Kindbody went from managing 450,000 covered lives to 2.4 million.
  • The company has raised $154 million to date — most recently securing $30 million on a post-money valuation of $1.2 billion, Bartasi says.

Yes, and: Kindbody is surveying deal opportunities across the fertility tech market that investors are feverish about.

  • "We're in diligence right now with a couple of AI solutions," Bartasi says. The company is vetting tech targets with predictive algorithms, whether for carrier screening or sperm analysis.
  • Founded in 2018, Kindbody has made three acquisitions to date: IVFqc in 2018, Vios Fertility Institute in February and Phosphorus Labs in June.
  • Kindbody also expects to announce an acquisition of a Midwest-based surrogacy agency later this month, Bartasi says.

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to reflect Bartasi's title as Chair, not CEO.

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