Abortion pill startup Hey Jane notches hard-won $6M
Telemedicine-based abortion care provider Hey Jane raised $6.1 million, confirming Axios' reporting from May.
Why it matters: The company sees the new capital as a response to the Supreme Court's "pivotal, unprecedented decision" to overturn Roe v. Wade in June, CEO Kiki Freedman tells Axios.
Still, despite renewed focus on women-centered startups, fundraising for Hey Jane has been difficult in today's current political climate, Freedman told Bloomberg Tuesday.
- “I’d be lying if I said it was easy," Freedman said.
- Several firms declined to invest for political reasons related to their limited partners, she noted to Bloomberg. “They may not want to ruffle feathers with their own investors,” she adds.
Deal details: Women-founded funds Ulu Ventures, The Helm, Amboy Street, Portfolia and G9 led the round and were joined by Social Starts and Yard Ventures.
- The fresh capital brings Hey Jane's total funding to $9.7 million since its launch in 2021.
Context: The historic reversal of Roe v. Wade has turned investor attention to the underfunded women's health tech sector, with some backers focusing specifically on virtual forms of abortion care.
- Data from February suggests telehealth-based abortions, in which a virtual provider provides pills that terminate a pregnancy, were already the preferred and most accessible means of abortion.
- Hey Jane is among a crop of new and recent venture-backed women's care startups including Tia Clinic and Favor (formerly The Pill Club) providing hybrid health care services focused on women.
- Choix (which raised $1 million in seed funding in June) AidAccess and Just the Pill also prescribe pills for inducing abortions in certain states and have seen demand surge since the June Supreme Court ruling.
How it works: New York-based Hey Jane provides mifepristone pills for inducing abortions to patients in eight states.
Where it stands: Since Hey Jane's launch last year, it has supplied roughly 20,000 people with abortion care.
- In the wake of the Supreme Court ruling in June, the company is seeing twice as many patients as it was pre-Dobbs, Freedman tells Axios.
What's next: Hey Jane will use the new capital to hire more staff, expand to all 50 states by 2023, and introduce virtual care for other issues such as postpartum depression and anxiety.
- “I know this space is underserved and underfunded,” Carli Sapir, a Hey Jane investor and founding partner at Amboy Street Ventures tells Bloomberg. “But there’s a huge shift in the landscape right now because women are becoming decision-makers in the VC landscape and directing the flow of capital."
What they're saying: Hey Jane's success validates industry experts' expectations that Roe's reversal would drive new investment into women's health.
- “This is going to drive innovation by necessity,” Goodwin Procter health care attorney Delphine O’Rourke told Axios this summer.
- “[Access to women’s health] is a super unmet need in a large market, and rational investors see that as an opportunity,” added SVB Securities banker Sasha Kelemen.
- "While this is frustrating and certainly not a moment we'd expect to be in in 2022, it's a moment for us as a company to lead," Favor VP of market access Tom Roark told Axios in July.