Alife Health Raises $9.5 Million to Increase the Success of IVF Treatments

By Jemima McEvoy Saturday, May 8, 2021

Alife Health has raised $9.5 million in a seed funding round to improve the outcomes of in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments. About one in eight families today struggle with infertility, and the rate of crisis is apparently worsening: miscarriages in women have increased by about 1% each year. However, IVF remains an expensive and often unsuccessful option. This San Francisco-based company wants to leverage artificial intelligence (AI) technology to improve the outcomes and equity of IVF fertility treatments.

3D illustration of in vitro fertilization.

What Is Alife Health?

The fertility startup was founded last year by entrepreneur Paxton Maeder-York. The founder, who now serves as CEO, was building surgical robots to fight lung cancer before he decided to go back to school to study the impact of AI on medicine. One of his areas of interest during his studies was IVF’s impact on both women and the LGBTQ+ community, which led to the idea for this business.

Alife Health was then launched on the belief that Maeder-York could leverage AI technology to improve a process that costs an average of $10,000 to $12,000 and can often take multiple attempts to succeed. “We aim to improve success rates across every cycle and bring costs down,” the founder said in a recent interview of his business. The startup specifically builds AI tools for physicians to maximize a patient’s chances of success in IVF while lowering costs and barriers to access.

“There are many aspects to IVF that can be improved through data-driven personalized medicine,” Maeder-York said in a news release about the funding round. “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.”

Money and Investors for Alife Health

The money raised in the seed round is the only funding the fertility company has raised to date, according to investment tracking platform Crunchbase. The $9.5 million funding round — closed this month — brought a number of big investment firms and angel investors to the company. New York-based Lux Capital, which has $2.5 billion in total assets, led the seed round for Alife Health. Amplo, IA Ventures, and Springback Collective also invested in the business. In addition, other angel investors took part in the funding, including Anne Wojcicki, the CEO of genomics and biotechnology company 23andMe; Auris co-founder Fred Moll; and founder Amira Yahyaoui.

A Promising Future for the Company

The startup is still very much in its early stages, and this money will be used to help launch the business to the public. Alife Health already has plans for the technology it needs to build. The business has also created partnerships and has received endorsements from doctors. The startup also spent the past year working with some of the largest fertility clinics across the US to build an unbiased dataset to support the technology created by the business.

Now, the focus of the fertility startup will be on getting its AI technology through regulatory submissions. This needs to be done before the company can interact with patients. To do this, the startup plans to expand its business internally, doubling its full-time staff of 11 employees by the end of the year, and continue building out its technology and its relationships with clinics.

About the Author

Headshot for author Jemima McEvoy

Jemima is a journalist who enjoys reporting on business, particularly small business and entrepreneurship.

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