Béa Fertility, a fertility tech startup based in London, revealed that it has successfully raised £2.5M (about €2.9M) to introduce its innovative fertility treatment to early adopters in the UK market.
Octopus Ventures spearheaded the funding round, supported by JamJar and Forward Partners, along with the continued participation of existing investors Calm/Storm and Q Ventures. The recent raise has propelled Béa Fertility’s total funding to date to £3.2M (about €3.8M).
In a world where fertility care is frequently constrained and expensive, Béa Fertility, established by Tess Cosad and George Thomas, is on a transformative mission. Through their at-home fertility treatment, Béa Fertility is democratizing clinical-grade care, making it accessible to everyone.
With the infusion of new funds, the company is now set to introduce the first Béa Treatment Kits to the public. As of now, the initial Béa treatment is available for purchase via the company’s website.
Early adopters who purchase a kit will be able to take advantage of a special price, paying just £350 for three ICI treatment cycles. The Treatment Kit will be delivered at the beginning of each menstrual cycle throughout the three-month treatment program. This program is specifically tailored for users who are actively trying to conceive.
Tackling Disparities In Fertility Care Access
While one in six individuals experience fertility challenges, access to fertility care remains highly varied and often insufficient. Underserved groups, such as the LGBTQIA+ community, face complex and costly barriers to receiving treatment.
Béa’s mission is to address this disparity in fertility care access by providing more inclusive and clinical-grade fertility treatments that individuals can utilize from the comfort of their homes, as emphasized by Tess Cosad, CEO & co-founder of Béa Fertility.
In addition to this initiative, Béa is launching the world’s largest at-home fertility study, aiming to bridge the fertility data gap and enhance the future of fertility care. The goal is to offer people improved access to earlier interventions in their family-building journey, ensuring a better and more equitable path to parenthood.
Béa Fertility Treatment: Revolutionizing the Landscape
The Béa Fertility Treatment Kit introduces a user-friendly fertility solution known as Intracervical Insemination (ICI).
Unlike conventional methods like IVF and IUI, this treatment can be safely conducted at home. The process entails placing a small cervical cap containing semen at the cervix using a clinically-approved applicator. The cap remains in place for an hour, enabling users to carry on with their daily activities.
“After the designated time, the cervical cap can be removed, much like a tampon, using the attached removal string,” explains Tess Cosad.
Approximately two weeks after the treatment, users have the option to test for pregnancy. The Béa Treatment eliminates the need for invasive hormone injections and clinical procedures, providing a more accessible and cost-effective alternative.
Highlighting ICI’s effectiveness, Cosad explains, “ICI has demonstrated a 50 percent efficacy rate over six treatment cycles and has recently been included in the NICE clinical guidelines alongside IUI and IVF. In comparison, the UK’s IVF success rate stands at 27 percent.”
Starting From Scratch: Building From The Ground Up
The development journey of Béa’s at-home fertility treatment was not without its share of challenges.
In a conversation with Silicon Canals, Cosad shares, “Although ICI is not a new procedure, it has typically been administered solely in clinical settings. There was no existing blueprint for us to follow in creating a treatment that would enable it to be carried out at home.”
She further explains, “Achieving the right design for our product required multiple rounds of prototyping and iterations. Our aim was to develop something that people could comfortably and easily use at home, while ensuring it met the highest standards of safety and clinical approval.”
“Furthermore, the lack of comprehensive information and research on fertility care was striking (the data gap in fertility care is quite significant). This made it feel like we were starting from scratch. However, this unique opportunity allowed us to tailor the product precisely to the needs of those facing fertility challenges. We could address existing inequalities that hinder many in their journey to conceive,” she adds while speaking to Silicon Canals.
Guidance For Pioneering Healthcare Innovators
Tess Cosad, the founder of a femtech startup, imparts valuable advice to entrepreneurs working on impactful healthcare innovations.
“Understanding your users is paramount. Delve into their problems, concerns, and challenges with meticulous attention – grasp what truly keeps them awake at night and develop something they genuinely need. After achieving that, the next step is securing the right capital. If that involves venture capital, it becomes crucial to find investors who genuinely comprehend your mission and the problem you aim to solve,” shares Cosad.
She continues, “For femtech innovators, we often pitch solutions or products that are misunderstood or even considered taboo. My advice to all founders is to conduct thorough research and seek investors who provide more than just financial support – investors who are willing to offer valuable connections, sage advice, and unwavering support through the highs and lows. Having investors who deeply understand and share your passion for the goal you’re trying to achieve can make all the difference between success and failure in this endeavor.”
Béa Fertility: Envisioning The Path Ahead
Béa Fertility is embarking on an innovative pilot program aimed at exploring the use of the Béa Treatment Kit within the NHS.
At present, the NHS solely funds fertility treatments such as IVF and IUI, with access determined by factors such as location, relationship status, BMI, and sexual orientation.
In collaboration with South Fulham Primary Care Network, Béa will introduce direct access to fertility treatment in primary care for the first time.
Starting from July, GPs at South Fulham PCN will have the ability to refer patients seeking fertility support to Béa Fertility, thus expanding the range of fertility services and support available through the PCN’s Women’s Health Hub, as confirmed by the company.