Glow helps 1,000 women conceive, updates app

By Aditi Pai
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GlowFertilityAppFertility app maker Glow, which first launched in August, has announced that its app has helped more than 1,000 women conceive. The reported pregnancies have come from across the United States and other countries including Canada, the United Kingdom, and Tanzania.

Glow accompanied the announcement with the launch of a new version of the app, which was redesigned for iOS7 and includes a more accurate fertility window prediction in the calendar.

"We’ve revamped our navigation to follow iOS7 guidelines so that it’s incredibly simple," CEO Mike Huang told MobiHealthNews. "From a visual design perspective, we were inspired by the vibrant colors that were introduced. We incorporated those colors, along with other system built-in layouts and animations."

Huang said the company plans to bring Glow to Android in the first half of next year.

With the app, users see a calendar of their fertility cycle, receive tips and reminders if they are trying to conceive, and view trends in their data, which can then be shared with a physician. For couples, Glow offers a mirror app for a woman's partner, which offers specialized tips and suggestions for men and synced data entry.

Glow also added Glow Community, a mobile platform that allows users to share their experiences with one another. The community has five large topics for women to begin discussing their pregnancies with each other -- success stories, Glow First, knowledge base, general discussions, and technical questions. Users also have the option to start a new topic.

"When we set out to build Glow we didn’t know what to expect in terms of adoption," Huang said. "We knew that fertility was (and still is) one of the most underserved areas in healthcare. We wanted to build something that would put the power of data to work for women’s reproductive health and democratize access to fertility treatment. When we can help a woman conceive, that’s a success to us."

Glow not only provides women with a way to track fertility, but also offers a program, Glow First, that focuses on helping women get pregnant. The program runs for 10 months and during those 10 months, participants contribute $50 per month. At the end of the 10 months, if a woman isn't pregnant, the pool of money from all participants is used to help the woman pay for fertility treatments. Glow does not take any of the money from this program.

Since launching the app, Glow has also launched Glow Insights, which learns from the data that users enter and personalizes fertility related facts based on the data, and partnered with MyFitnessPal, which, Huang said, is helpful to factor into the app's machine learning and analytics to help Glow give better insights to users.

"A good example is that skim milk is actually harmful to drink while trying to conceive," Huang said. "If we saw that a user was drinking skim milk with her coffee, we could suggest that she swap out skim for whole milk."

The same day Glow launched, the company also announced a $6 million funding raise led by Founders Fund, along with Andreessen Horowitz, and other angel investors.

Former PayPal CTO Max Levchin founded Glow with Google alum Huang and three others. Glow is a part of Levchin's umbrella project HVF, which stands for Hard Valuable Fun and "searches relentlessly for opportunities that create value by leveraging data". HVF said it is interested in developing projects that deal with consumer finance, enterprise document security, and disease prevention/wellness industries. HVF's other current project, Affirm, is an alternative payment system for shoppers.