Women’s health app developer Tia announced that it has received $2.5 million in seed financing to continue developing its service and expanding its brand. The funding was acquired from early stage investment groups Combine, Homebrew, and Compound.
The company’s service, Ask Tia, launched in June and has since responded to over 100,000 user questions on birth control options, insurance coverage, gynecological care, and other areas of women’s sexual health. The free app, which is currently in beta on the US App Store, also features tools to assist with linkage to care, cycle tracking, and birth control adherence.
“All too often, women are making healthcare decisions — about birth control, sex, pregnancy, and beyond — from a place of fear, anxiety, and shame," Cofounder and CEO Carolyn Witte said in a statement. "At a time when women’s health faces so many threats, we believe that user-friendly, low-friction solutions like Tia can bridge access gaps in health information and help women navigate an increasingly complex world of healthcare with confidence.”
Key to Tia’s platform is its conversational approach and sex-positive messaging. The experience is designed in a way that, according to a post by the company's founders on medium.com, more closely remembers a text or Snapchat conversation with a friend than it does a traditional healthcare experience. The app’s “sass and science persona” allows users to feel heard, they write, and ask sexual health questions without fearing judgement.
“Through the thousands of conversations Tia has each day, we’ve learned that compassion and making women feel heard is as, if not more important than the information itself," Felicity Yost, cofounder and head of product at Tia, said in a statement. "Believing that women fundamentally want a relationship — not a disparate set of providers, trackers, and devices that each address a narrow slice of your health — we’ve designed the entire product around a private 1:1 conversation that’s all about cultivating trust.”
Though its conversational approach is novel, Ask Tia isn't the only app looking to simplify women’s health. Planned Parenthood launched its own period tracking app last year that also included reminders and personalized advice if a user makes a mistake with their birth control. Clue, another period and ovulation tracker that has a history of collaboration with academic institutions for women's health research projects, announced last year that it had received $30 million in total funding for its platform. Just months before the company’s founder, Ida Tin, and other participants of a 2016 TechCrunch Disrupt panel said that these types of digital health tools designed for women are a growing, necessary, and wanted market.