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!