Photo by Ariel Skelly/Getty Images
Artificial intelligence fertility startup Alife announced today it has raised $9.5 million in Seed funding.
Lux Capital led the round with participation from Amplo, IA Ventures and Springbank Collective. Also included in the raise were a number of angel investors, including Anne Wojcicki, the founder and CEO of 23andMe; Fred Moll, the founder of Intuitive Surgical and Auris; Amira Yahyaoui, the founder of Mos and Sequoia Scout; Arthur Patterson the founder of Accel; Dr. Tom Lee the founder of One Medical Group and Galileo Health; and the founders of Ramp and Headway.
Alife also added Deena Shakir, a partner at Lux Capital, to its board of directors.
“We’ve applied advanced machine learning in countless other medical imaging fields, but we are only just starting to scratch the surface on how it can be used to advance family and reproductive health,” Shakir said in a statement.
“There is a tremendous opportunity for technology to transform the IVF experience and ultimately contribute to advancing human health and health equity. Alife Health is leading this effort with its unique, technology-forward, human-centered approach.”
WHAT IT DOWA
Founded in 2020, Alife has yet to release any products, but the company plans to create artificial intelligence-enabled software to assist in vitro fertilization. The technology will support clinical decision-making by supplying personalized care recommendations, Alife said in the announcement.
“There are many aspects to IVF that can be improved through data-driven personalized medicine,” Paxton Maeder-York, the founder and CEO of Alife Health, said in a statement. “From alleviating family-planning pressure for working women to supporting family creation in the LGBTQ+ community, improving IVF has the potential to help parents realize their dreams of having a healthy child.”
WHAT IT’S FOR
The company will use the new funds to build out the Alife team and to prepare the technology for regulatory review, Maeder-York told Crunchbase.
IVF is expensive, costing an average of $10,000 per treatment cycle, and can be relatively risky, with an average success rate of 21.3%, according to Penn Medicine.
As such, innovators have been looking for ways to bring down costs while improving outcomes, often through technology.
There’s even been interest within pharma as Merck recently teamed up with Royal Philips to develop digital solutions for personalized fertility treatment.