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Maternal health unicorn Maven lands $90M Series E

Illustration of a baby onesie printed with the image of a $100 bill.

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

Virtual maternal and family health unicorn Maven Clinic has raised $90 million in Series E funds, CEO Kate Ryder tells Axios.

Why it matters: The round arrives as reproductive rights in the U.S. are under attack, pushing venture backers to turn to private companies for support.

  • "The overturn of Roe v. Wade created a ton of need in corporate America and across our payer partners including Medicaid," says Ryder.
  • "These category-leading, technology-forward companies play a crucial role in expanding access to care for women and families," Lux Capital partner and Maven investor Deena Shakir tells Axios, adding, "Women's health is population health and reproductive rights are human rights."

Flashback: Maven last summer became the first maternal and family health company to hit a $1 billion valuation.

Deal details: General Catalyst led the round, bringing Maven's total funding to $300 million.

  • La Famiglia, Intermountain Ventures and insiders Sequoia, Oak HC/FT, Icon Ventures, Dragoneer Investment Group and Lux Capital also participated.
  • Alongside the funding, Maven named three new board members: Homeward CEO Jennifer Schneider, former Independence Blue Cross COO Yvette Bright and former Collective Medical CEO Chris Klomp.

State of play: VC interest in women's digital health has ballooned on the heels of the Dobbs decision in June. Startups focused on women's mental health, fertility and telemedicine abortion have recently secured significant funding, including:

Meanwhile, several new VC groups with an exclusive focus on abortion rights, maternal health and reproductive care have cropped up in recent months, including VCs for Repro, which debuted in November with 85 firms managing $14.8 billion.

One fun thing: New York-based Maven has attracted a star-studded lineup of investors including Oprah Winfrey, Mindy Kaling, Natalie Portman and Reese Witherspoon.

How it works: The company offers its services through employers and connects people virtually to caregivers trained in adoption, fertility, pregnancy and pediatrics.

  • Despite an uncertain political and economic environment, Maven has grown quickly with 15 million lives under management, a 5x rise since the company collected $110 million in Series D capital last August.
  • The company operates in 175 countries including India, Australia, Canada, the U.K. and Japan and recently entered U.S. Medicaid markets.

What they're saying: Ryder and Maven chief medical officer Neel Shah say current conditions put pressure on the company's customers as well as its employees, investors and care partners.

  • "It’s hard for any business leader to build a business in such a time of uncertainty and anxiety," Ryder says. "The polarization is tough. There’s a lot out there to distract our team and make life hard for them."

The other side: That pressure also means employers are increasingly looking to Maven as a key service provider, per the company's leaders.

  • "Fertility has become a core benefit for a growing number of employers," Shah says. "Even in this economy where labor markets are tight, it’s something people are investing in with intention."

What's next: Ryder and Shah see enormous potential to convince employers that fertility is not a "nice to have" benefit, but rather "a need to have."

  • "There’s a huge opportunity to educate the market on what fertility is," says Shah. "It’s health care, not a perk."
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