Our hub for company news and other exciting announcements about our platforms and people.
Announcing our SEEDs Membership
Ethics is at the heart of everything we do and we're glad to be part of the SEEDS ecosystem!
Ethics is at the heart of everything we do. We’ve set out to build something special – centering on families, honoring donors, and recognizing the needs and rights of the humans we are helping create.
We’re not alone in trying to raise the bar for our industry. The Society for Ethics and Egg Donation (SEEDS) is a nonprofit organization whose purpose is to define and promote ethical behavior by all parties involved in third party reproduction. And today we are proud to announce that Cofertility has been accepted as a member of SEEDS.
SEEDS was founded by a group of egg donation and surrogacy agencies to give organizations a voice in defining ethical standards for egg donation and surrogacy.
We are thrilled to be official members, though we actually built our program with the SEEDS Standards as our guideposts. We are committed to building a more ethical egg donation platform and are excited to be part of an organization that reflects those same ideas. In addition to our agreement to abide by SEEDS standards, we look forward to getting involved with other initiatives ranging from monthly brown bag lunches to the SEEDS conference.
We’re glad to be part of the SEEDS ecosystem. Thank you to all of the SEEDS volunteers who have made the organization what it is today - we appreciate you and are excited to get to know you!
Introducing Pomi Tefera, Head of Operations & Strategy
We’re thrilled to announce that Pomi Tefera has joined the Cofertility team as Head of Operations & Strategy.
As we continue to work towards our mission of improving the family-building process for all (today or in the future), we’re excited to grow our team to help us get there. Today, we’re thrilled to announce that Pomi Tefera has joined the Cofertility team as Head of Operations & Strategy.
Joining us from Token Transit, where she served as the Director of Operations, Pomi is deeply curious about technology that transforms how people manage their basic needs in the physical world. At Token Transit, Pomi was responsible for growth & partnerships – she helped grow the mobile ticketing platform to reach riders served by 170+ transit agencies, scaled transit pass distribution programs, and launched API integration partnerships.
As part of Cofertility’s Founding Team, Pomi will lead the charge on building out, scaling, and managing company product and clinical operations, partnerships, and strategic finance functions. She’ll obsess over member needs on a daily basis, and oversee the programmatic components of their journey on our platform. Pomi is a firm believer that centering people — what they hope to accomplish and how they navigate their needs — is essential to mobilizing teams and driving business impact.
Prior to Token Transit, Pomi’s career has spanned finance, strategy and product operations at General Electric and Uber. I had the pleasure of working directly with Pomi during her time on Uber’s Strategic Finance team. Pomi was a critical partner in developing the initial business case for Uber Health and I had the best time working with her on it. Our pitch to leadership for Uber Health was successful, and the rest is history. I’m forever thankful for her partnership then and am so thrilled to have it again now.
When we asked Pomi about her first week with Cofertility, she told us, “I’m so grateful for this opportunity to change the world of family planning and ready to empower women to own their fertility timelines.”
We can’t wait to do this together. Welcome to the team, Pomi!
Meet our Founding Medical Advisory Board
At Cofertility, we’re proud to partner with some of the most beloved experts in our space.
At Cofertility, our goal is to reshape fertility preservation and third-party reproduction so it’s more accessible, human, and community-driven. We know that providers are at the heart of fertility care, which is why we’re proud to partner with some of the most beloved experts in our space.
From Day 1, our Medical Advisory Board has helped shape our offerings, from program feedback to educational content. We are proud to announce the four providers who serve as our Founding Medical Advisory Board:
- Saira Jhutty, PhD is a licensed clinical and industrial organizational psychologist in private practice specializing in fertility. She obtained her PhD from California School of Professional Practice. She has spent the last 11 years focusing on assisting people build their families using third-party reproduction. Her expertise lies in the evaluation of potential surrogates and egg donors and meeting with intended parents to discuss their decision to use alternative methods to build their family. Dr. Jhutty is a member of the Mental Health Professionals group for ASRM and sat on the committee to help revise surrogacy guidelines.
- Mare Mbaye, MD is a top OBGYN based in New York City. She has worked in the private practice setting caring for pregnant and non-pregnant people with a variety of medical concerns. Dr. Mbaye also boasts several years of experience as a medical advisor, digital health startup consultant, and content creator. She is on a mission to bring empathetic, holistic, and affirming reproductive healthcare to all, with a particular focus on historically marginalized groups. She received her MD from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, and her BS from Yale University.
- Samuel Pang, MD is a board certified OBGYN and subspecialty board certified reproductive endocrinologist at Boston IVF. He is the medical director of the Third Party Reproduction Team at Boston IVF – The Lexington Center. He attended the University of British Columbia and completed his internship and residency in Obstetrics & Gynecology at the University of Toronto. He completed his fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology at UCLA. Dr. Pang joined IVF America Boston (later Reproductive Science Center of New England) in 1993 and was appointed Medical Director in 2007. He has been the director of the Third Party Reproduction program since 1997, serving patients who utilize IVF with donor eggs and/or gestational surrogacy to have children. In October 2014 he joined Boston IVF following a merger with RSCNE. Dr. Pang is a pioneer in providing reproductive care to LGBTQ+ patients. In 1998, he was among the earliest physicians applying ART to gay men who sought parenthood via donor eggs and gestational surrogacy. In 2007, he began providing IVF services to lesbian couples without infertility, coining the term “reciprocal IVF” for one person providing oocytes and the other gestating. In 2012, he began treating transgender men for fertility preservation and reciprocal IVF, and transgender men who choose to gestate themselves. He was recently selected by ASRM for their Arnold P. Gold Foundation Humanism in Medicine Award in 2022.
- Meera Shah, MD, FACOG, is a double board certified OBGYN and reproductive endocrinology and fertility specialist at NOVA IVF in Mountain View, California. She received her Bachelor's degree at UC-Berkeley and completed a post-baccalaureate research fellowship at the National Institute of Health Academy program. She attended Stanford Medical School and completed her residency training in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of California, San Francisco. She rounded out her training with a fellowship in reproductive endocrinology and infertility at Stanford University. She is an active member of the Pacific Coast Reproductive Society, American Society of Reproductive Medicine, and Bay Area Reproductive Society. Dr. Shah has authored numerous research articles on topics ranging from fertility preservation, pregnancy loss, reproductive genetics, and ethnic differences in IVF outcomes. Her work has been featured in Fertility and Sterility, Fertility IQ, and Natalist. Her medical practice incorporates the highest level of evidence based medicine and the most cutting edge technologies to optimize outcomes for her patients.
We’re fortunate to partner with these experts to help create reproductive health services you can trust.
Introducing Cofertility: a new, human-centered fertility ecosystem
At Cofertility, we’re reshaping fertility preservation and third-party reproduction.
Our approach to egg-donation and egg-freezing, and $5M seed in funding from Initialized Capital and Offline Ventures
Today, we’re excited to announce Cofertility, a new kind of human-centered fertility ecosystem, in conjunction with our $5 million round of seed funding. At Cofertility, we’re reshaping fertility preservation and third-party reproduction so it’s more accessible, human, and community-driven, recognizing that the way we build families is more dynamic than ever and that everyone deserves a great experience. We’re now debuting what we’ve been building for over a year: a destigmatized, scalable approach to egg donation, which reshapes the cost structure of egg-freezing. Our platform matches women who want to freeze their eggs with families who could not otherwise conceive, and by donating half of their frozen eggs, women can access egg-freezing for *free*.
Our platform matches women who want to freeze their eggs with families who could not otherwise conceive, and by donating half of their frozen eggs, women can access egg-freezing for *free.*
When we zoom out and look at the fertility industry, there have been incredible strides over the last decade – including egg freezing no longer being considered “experimental” and a greater public conversation about fertility – but unfortunately, this progress pales in comparison to the growth of the problem. There’s still a fundamental lack of resources for proactively taking charge of reproductive health, exclusionary costs for fertility treatments, a dearth of support for LGBTQ+ couples, antiquated egg donation and surrogacy programs, and care pathways that are riddled with stigma, coercion, and isolation. About one in six couples struggle to conceive, and many feel failed by the infertility process. The cost of egg freezing averages $12,000 - $20,000 (depending on the clinic and medication), making building a family a socioeconomic issue as much as it is a highly personal one. In any direction, there’s friction, sacrifice, and unmet needs.
As the co-founders of Cofertility, we know this and we’ve lived this. The three of us have all had complicated fertility journeys – we’ve been told by doctors that we’d never have biological children, we’ve gone through years of infertility treatments, we’ve felt defeated trying to find an egg donor, we’ve been devastated by miscarriages, and we’ve felt so alone along the way.
We’ve also dedicated our careers to advancing the healthcare system – from helping create the Uber Health division at Uber to improve access to care (Lauren), leading fertility education platforms with marketing experience at Gen-Z household-name brands (Arielle), to founding some of the most defining digital and women’s health companies of the past decade – Natalist and Rock Health (Halle). Everything we’ve done —personally and professionally —has brought us to founding this company today.
Everything we’ve done —personally and professionally —has brought us to founding this company today.
It’s abundantly clear that we deserve a new fertility ecosystem – one that’s grounded in accessibility, community, and true agency over our reproductive futures. We’re building this from a corner of the industry that’s seen little to no change for decades, but one that’s a linchpin for unlocking greater change across several key areas of fertility care: egg donation.
Ask anyone who’s needed egg donation and they’ll likely tell you it’s a demoralizing process. Something as personal as the genetic make-up of your future child is reduced to scrolling through databases of women identified by numbers, who you never get to meet. The experience either involves clunky systems that feel hollow, transactional, and opaque (think: like the black market), or is highly polarizing with an over emphasis on classist attributes and good looks (think: a cringy dating site). A lot of these issues are rooted in the traditional system’s reliance on cash compensation, which can feel dehumanizing for all involved – including the intended parents, the donors, and ultimately the donor-conceived children (in fact, one recent Harvard study found that 62.2% of donor-conceived adults think the exchange of money for donor gametes is wrong, and 40.6% are “disturbed” by the fact that money was exchanged around their conception). This doesn’t even touch on the lack of ethnic diversity amongst donors, which leaves many intended parents without adequate options for building families that reflect their backgrounds. Or the misleading concept of anonymity in egg donation, which (as underscored by ASRM ) opens the door to exploitation. This is all a massive disservice to those going through infertility and who sacrificed so much to get to this point, cancer survivors who might not be able to have biological children, and to the entire LGBTQ+ community who rely on donors as one of the first essential steps in family building.
At Cofertility, we’re introducing a human centered approach to egg donation to transparently and confidently match intended parents with egg donors, while radically restructuring the cost of egg-freezing along the way to address key accessibility issues. Our platform is formally launching today with two platforms, Freeze by Co and Family by Co.
Our Freeze by Co platform enables women to more accessibly pursue egg freezing through two programs. With our Split program, those who qualify can freeze their eggs for free when they give half of the eggs retrieved to a family who can’t otherwise conceive, including couples with infertility, gay dads, and more. Those in our Keep program can freeze their eggs and store them all for their own later use, while still taking advantage of discounts throughout the process to lighten the financial load. All members get access to our active online community, where they can connect openly about their egg-freezing experience and support one another through it in real time.
Our Family by Co platform is our human-centered approach for matching intended parents with egg donors in our Split program. Matches are made in a personal, empathic way including educational resources, support tools, and a community of other intended parents. The intended parents in our Family by Co program express gratitude and a greater sense of purpose that they can play a role in helping someone preserve their future fertility in a very accessible format, in contrast to the more transactional nature of cash compensation for egg-donation. We welcome all intended parents — single or coupled, regardless of what brought them here — and support them with compassion and respect for whatever path is best for them.
Together, our programs create a new kind of human-first ecosystem for fertility care and third party reproduction: dramatically more people can preserve their reproductive options through free egg-freezing via our Split program, women can have a life-altering impact on intended parents through our empathy-led donor matching platform, and intended parents can grow their families with the supportive, personal experience they deserve. And by bringing together egg donation and egg-freezing in a thoughtful, scalable way, we hope to address some of the key tension points in fertility care: the exclusionary cost of egg freezing, the exploitative and transactional nature of cash compensation in egg donation, and the lack of socioeconomic diversity amongst egg donors that prohibits intended parents from building the families they want.
We’re fortunate to have some of the most thoughtful, respected investors and healthcare thinkers on our side. Our seed funding is led by Initialized Capital and Offline Ventures, with participation from Coalition Partners, Muse Capital, Arkitekt Ventures, and the Co-founders and CEOs of Figs, Hello Sunshine, Mented Cosmetics and more. We couldn’t be more energized by this group of women, and it feels like the opportunity of a lifetime to be building this company for ourselves, each other, and women and intended parents everywhere.
In the end, Cofertility is about everyone having the power to make the fertility decisions that are right for them. Because we all deserve better when going through one of the most personal, vital parts of society: building a family.
Want to talk about joining one of our programs? Send us a note!