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Exclusive: Fertility tech startup AiVF raises $25 million

Jun 22, 2022
Illustration of a quarter surrounded by sperm.

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

AiVF raked in $25 million in Series A funding led by Insight Partners and Adam Neumann's family office, the Tel Aviv fertility care startup exclusively tells Axios.

Why it matters: IVF clinics are struggling to keep up with mounting demand, as the industry faces a shortage of embryologists and high variability in success rates.

  • AiVF's software empowers embryologists with fertility intelligence to standardize and accelerate processes, boasting that it shortens the time to pregnancy and improves predictability.
  • The funding gives AiVF the financial wherewithal to enter the U.S. (where it is currently pursuing FDA approval) and to deepen its adoption across Europe.

State of play: IVF historically has been based upon subjective human analysis, with technology old-fashioned and costly, says Daniella Gilboa, an embryologist who co-founded AiVF in 2018 alongside IVF specialist Daniel Seidman.

  • Without technology, she says, "there's no way that [IVF clinics] can ever scale" to address today's access problem. "We call it the AI-human team."
  • Gilboa's ultimate vision? Revolutionize fertility care such that today's difficult and lengthy IVF experience becomes "quick and friendly".

How it works: AiVF uses machine learning to evaluate embryos during IVF, guiding embryologists as they identify and select what they believe are the embryos with the most promise of a healthy pregnancy.

  • Its AI is based upon what it says is the world's largest and most diverse clinic-derived datasets — the latter in terms of age, types of infertility, ethnicity and geography. That's in contrast to what is typically a heavy reliance by datasets on wealthy, white demographics.
  • The system is currently assisting with 15 ongoing pregnancies and soon to be the first delivery, Gilboa says.

Of note: Celebrity academic Dan Ariely is AiVF's chief behavioral officer.

Context: VC firms are flooding into fertility tech due to multiple factors: The desire to have children later in life, employers' focus on workplace benefits, and a growing recognition that reproductive wellness is crucial to overall health care.

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