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Recharge Capital creates $200M women’s health care fund

Illustration of the female icon made of a money pattern

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Recharge Capital closed the first tranche of its $200 million women's health care fund, with plans to invest in fertility providers in emerging markets, Lorin Gu, founding partner at Recharge, tells Axios.

Why it matters: Recharge will invest in regions like Southeast Asia, which has become a fertility care destination for people in China — a country that restricts genetic testing and egg freezing for single women.

Details: A primary focus will be placed on international fertility medical tourism, menstrual wellness, and women's disease prevention.

  • Gu says Recharge will look to fund IVF clinics, alongside companies with technology aiding IVF.
  • While Recharge is primarily focused abroad, about 15% of the fund is allocated toward U.S. companies, primarily focused on surrogacy and gamete exchange.

What they're saying: "The biggest opportunities are in emerging markets such as Southeast Asia, Latin America, Europe, and the Middle East, as big markets such as the USA are getting very expensive," Gu says.

  • "This a real opportunity for a large business to be built that does something great for the world," says Manu Gupta, founder of Blue Lion Group, one of Recharge's new fund's limited partners.
  • "The regulatory piece of this is constantly changing, and we’re hopeful that this initiative can help impact policy over a longer term, with education about benefits and reducing the stigma," Gupta adds.

Of note: One of the new fund's limited partners is Peter Thiel, who funded the 2016 campaign of a presidential candidate who not only promised to overturn Roe v. Wade but effectively succeeded in doing so.

  • Axios asked Recharge about the seeming hypocrisy, to which it replied: "All of the investors have a shared belief in the importance of addressing women’s healthcare issues, including IVF access, menstrual wellness, and disease prevention. We specifically selected an investor group for this vehicle to demonstrate that there is common ground to address the numerous areas in the women's healthcare space."

The big picture: Recharge's launch comes as the VC community takes a step back from funding women's health tech businesses in the US.

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