Cofertility: Supporting choice via a human-first fertility ecosystem
We are excited to offer families more choices with our investment in Cofertility, a startup that is rewriting the egg freezing and egg donation process to make it more human and accessible for all.
My grandmother gave birth to her first child when she was 16 years old, my mother at 26, and myself at 36. My family is a perfect example of how the average childbearing age has decreased dramatically in the past fifty years. Between 1990 and 2019, there was a 43% decline in birth rates for women in their early 20s, while the birth rate for women in their late 30s increased by 67%.
Concurrent with demographic changes, technological advances give families more ways to become parents. Egg freezing was pioneered in the late 1990s and was considered “experimental” until 2012. A 2022 NYU Langone study found that egg freezing has more than twice the effectiveness of IVF in allowing “older” women to successfully become pregnant.
Families have evolved and have more choices today. Women are choosing to delay starting their families, LGBTQ+ couples have options to pursue parenthood via donors and gestational carriers, and couples struggling to conceive have access to fertility treatments that open new doors. We are excited to offer families more choices with Initialized’s investment in Cofertility, which is rewriting the egg freezing and egg donation process to make it more human and accessible for all.
According to the CDC, 19% of women experience infertility, defined as the inability to conceive after one year of trying naturally.
Yet this reproductive assistance is still for the few, not the many. Women of reproductive age are the least equipped to be able to afford egg freezing. In the US, where only 15% of companies with over 500 employees offer egg-freezing assistance, many affected families cannot afford it. Cofertility changes that by offering a free option, where women freeze their eggs for free when donating half of the eggs retrieved to a family that could not otherwise conceive.
When Halle Tecco introduced me to Lauren Makler and Arielle Spiegel, her cofounders at Cofertility, it was quickly clear that they were the perfect founders to tackle the challenges of this market with empathy, execution, and eloquence. Each had her own personal fertility journey — and each is a formidable operator. Lauren was an early Uber employee and founded and led the Uber Health division. Arielle was responsible for brand marketing and strategy for iconic brands like Victoria’s Secret PINK, Coach and built a content-focused site in the fertility space. Halle founded the digital health venture fund Rock Health and the fertility product company Natalist which Everly Health acquired. The miles they have collectively traveled to navigate the opaque choices and isolating burdens of our current reproductive health system are now employed in service of the members Cofertility serves.
We believe families will continue to seek out choices: whether they are not yet ready to have children or want to get started right away and are facing challenges. Overall, the assisted reproductive technology market is estimated to be $20 Billion today and will reach over $40 Billion by 2028.
Cofertility’s platforms offer a higher quality experience at different stages of the fertility journey, including fertility preservation and third-party reproduction — even offering the opportunity to freeze your eggs for free when you give half to another family who cannot conceive — as well as a more thoughtful matching platform for parents pursuing egg donation.
We are backing Cofertility to bring humanity, connection, and above all, choice to more families everywhere.