Brooklyn-based Dadi, a direct-to-consumer male fertility testing and sperm storage startup, has closed $5 million in investment funding. The raise was led by TCG, with participation from prior backers firstminute Capital and Third Kind Ventures. Additionally, Flatiron Health CEO and cofounder Nat Turner and GIPHY CEO and cofounder Alex Chung joined as new angel investors.
WHAT THEY DO
Launched in January on the back of $2 million in seed funding, Dadi provides a $99 mail-order kit that preserves customers’ sperm until it arrives at the lab for testing and cold storage. Shortly after, customers are emailed a digital report describing the sample’s sperm volume, count and concentration alongside a magnified video. Storage of the sample runs customers $9.99 per month or $99.99 per year, customers can also have their sample stored in a Boston-based cryogenics lab until the time of their $299.99 withdrawal. The company stresses the confidentiality of its record keeping, and notes that the storage facility is under constant supervision.
WHAT IT’S FOR
Dadi said that the new funding will help broadly expand its customer services capabilities, which include more fertility education and customer support. Additionally, the company will be actively developing new technology and expanding beyond the consumer space.
"For too long, men have not had an accessible and data-driven way to understand and manage their fertility," Marco DeMeireles, aartner at TCG who will be joining Dadi’s board, said in a statement. "With 40% of infertility cases linked to male factors, Dadi is answering a serious unmet need in family planning and creating a more balanced conversation. We're thrilled to see the early success in the direct-to-consumer business, and we're excited to help the team expand into the employer market to bring more parity to family planning benefits.”
Dadi isn’t alone in the mail-order male fertility market. Sandstone Diagnostics’s Trak kit starts at $74.99, and last year was featured in an NIH-funded study conducted by Boston University and Stanford University. Researchers have also targeted other methods with an even lower barrier to entry, including smartphone camera magnification and imaging.
However, a much larger segment of the reproductive health market is focused on women’s fertility. These products range from cycle tracking apps, testing kits and devices and new features built into popular consumer wearables.
ON THE RECORD
"Over the last six months, we have been encouraged by the responses we've received from customers who turned to Dadi to proactively plan for healthy future families," Tom Smith, cofounder and CEO of Dadi, said in a statement. "Unlike other fertility services, which can be very transactional, we are building long-term customer relationships that begin the moment they start to think about having children. It's incredibly rewarding to be an integral part of this journey, and we've already seen so many different use cases for the product. Our mission continues to focus on normalizing the conversation around reproductive health, and we'll continue to be a partner to all of our customers as they look to start families."