Béa Fertility raises £2.5m to roll out at-home fertility treatment
Béa Fertility, the pioneering fertility tech startup making clinical-grade fertility care available at home, has raised £2.5million to release its first at-home fertility treatment to early adopters in the UK.
The round was led by Octopus Ventures and joined by JamJar and Forward Partners, with additional participation from existing investors Calm/Storm and Q Ventures.
Led by femtech expert Tess Cosad and product engineer George Thomas, Béa Fertility has developed one of the first clinical-grade at-home fertility treatments ever to launch in the UK market.
How does Béa’s at-home fertility treatment work?
The first Béa Fertility Treatment Kit enables users to carry out a simple fertility treatment called Intracervical Insemination (ICI) safely at home. The treatment is creating a revolutionary new steppingstone on the fertility pathway that can be explored in advance of costly and invasive procedures like IVF and Intrauterine Insemination (IUI).
The Béa Treatment involves placing a small cervical cap containing semen at the cervix using a clinically-approved applicator. The cap is left in-situ for an hour; and during that time, users can go about their days as normal. Two weeks after treatment, users test for pregnancy. There are no invasive hormone injections or clinical procedures involved. The Béa Treatment is designed to be used at home and can be used with donor semen.
ICI has been shown to have 50% efficacy over 6 cycles of treatment, and was recently included in the NICE clinical guidelines alongside IUI and IVF. The UK’s IVF success rate is 27%.
Béa’s aim is to make a transformative and inclusive new fertility offering available to people who are struggling to conceive, with a focus on widening access to care for LGBTQ families and groups traditionally excluded from existing fertility provision.
How this investment will be used
This new injection of funding is being used to make the first Béa Treatment Kits available to the public. The first Béa treatment is available to purchase online via Béa’s website now. The first users to purchase a kit will pay just £350 for three ICI treatment cycles, with one Treatment Kit delivered at the beginning of each menstrual cycle throughout the three-month treatment program. The program is targeted at users currently trying to conceive.
At full price, the Béa Treatment Kit will retail at £700 for three treatment cycles, less than 1/20th the cost of IVF.
Béa Fertility is also launching a pioneering pilot which will trial the use of the Béa Treatment Kit within the NHS. Currently, the only fertility treatments funded by the NHS are IVF and IUI; and access depends on factors including location, relationship status, BMI and sexual orientation. Working in partnership with South Fulham Primary Care Network, Béa will be providing direct access to fertility treatment in primary care for the first time.
From July, GPs at South Fulham PCN will be able to refer patients seeking fertility support to Béa Fertility, expanding the fertility services and support offered through the PCN’s Women’s Health Hub. The Béa pilot will unlock new, more inclusive routes to fertility care within the NHS.
Béa Fertility launches the world’s largest at-home fertility treatment study
The first people to purchase a Treatment Kit and join the Béa community will be contributing to the world’s largest at-home fertility treatment study. During this initial treatment roll-out, Béa will be collecting observational and efficacy data to close the data gap surrounding infertility. Over 1,000 people have already signed up to take part.
The study aims to drive advancements in the development of early-stage fertility interventions and accelerate Béa’s mission to build accessible fertility treatments for all. The early results of the study will be presented at the IFFS World Congress in Athens later this year.
This raise brings Béa Fertility’s total funding to date to $4.2 million. Béa will join companies including Elvie and Mojo in Octopus Ventures’ portfolio.
Tess Cosad, CEO and co-founder at Béa Fertility, commented: “Fertility impacts 1 in 6 couples, yet access to fertility care is severely lacking globally. Fertility clinics have been selling the same expensive treatments for decades, yet there are a number of groups which remain underserved, including the LGBTQIA+ community, single people and parents experiencing secondary infertility. At Béa, our aim is to fill this gap by creating inclusive, clinical-grade fertility treatments that can be used at home.
“This latest injection of funding - from experienced investors with a proven track record of backing successful fertility and femtech businesses - will enable us to get our pioneering treatment in the hands of the people who need it most. We can’t wait for people to try it.
"We're also proud to be closing the fertility data gap by launching the world’s largest at-home fertility study. The data gap in fertility care is astounding. Because the fertility treatment pathway starts in the clinic, there is very little data on how patients are navigating the early stages of their fertility journey. Not only do we want to create revolutionary new fertility treatments, but we want to close the data gap to push for inclusive new approaches to fertility care across the board, so that everyone, everywhere can access the fertility care they need.”
Richard Reed, Innocent Smoothie Founder and Founding Partner of JamJar, commented: “The proudest investment I’ve ever made - helping those who are struggling to start a family to do so, and to do so naturally. The success of this business is going to be measured in the number of new born babies.”
Kirsten Connell, Investor at Octopus Ventures, said: “At Octopus Ventures we back founders who are changing the world for the better. We invest where we can make the greatest positive impact. When it comes to starting a family there are few things in life more meaningful than this. Béa Fertility who is reimagining the fertility care pathway, was a clear vision we wanted to get behind. We’re delighted to have joined Tess and her team on this journey.”
Brian Hatton, Partner at Q Ventures, stated: “We backed Tess and the Béa team at the idea stage in their 2021 pre-seed round and they have made incredible progress since. Their at home product is truly a groundbreaking new step in the fertility care pathway, and we are excited to continue to support this incredible group as they launch and scale.”