Maven, a telemedicine app that caters to the healthcare needs of women, launched out of beta today with $2.2 million in seed funding. Investors include Great Oaks Venture Capital, BoxGroup, F Cubed, and several angels including WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg, former Gilt Groupe and AOL exec Susan Lyne, and Gerson founder Thomas Lehrman.
Maven founder Kate Ryder was working as a VC at Index Ventures when she came up with the idea for a digital healthcare app for women.
“A lot of my friends started having kids, so I started doing some research. After speaking to many women in their 20s and 30s, I found that what was out there didn’t have specific focus on women’s health.”
Like other telemedicine platforms such as Doctor On Demand and HealthTap, Maven allows those on the app to ask questions, browse health discussions, or book a video appointment with a health practitioner. The key difference is that they don’t specifically focus on women’s health.
I found that what was out there didn’t have a specific focus on women’s health.
Women make up the majority of healthcare decisions. Nearly 80 percent of women pick the family doctor, bring the kids to appointments and make the decisions for the family, according to figures from the National Partnership for Women and Families. Ryder believes this section of the population deserved something that focuses on their specific needs for that reason.
Ryder quit her VC job a year ago and went to work on building a telehealth platform for women. She now has a 10-person team made up of half men and half women. She also says about 98 percent of the more than 300 doctors, physical therapists and nurse practitioners on the app are women.
Maven’s price point is also a bit lower than other telemedicine platforms. Doctor on Demand is $40 per virtual visit. HealthTap pricing runs from $44 a visit to $99 per month on the platform. Ryder includes nurse practitioners and physical therapists and says the appointment price can go as low as $18 per visit for that reason.
“We found a particularly strong need around prenatal and postpartum care, as well as childcare or pulling long hours at the office,” Ryder said. “That’s why we’ve worked with so many different types of practitioners to create a product that offers women the healthcare they need, exactly when they need it.”
Maven’s main focus is on healthcare topics for women of childbearing age. This includes trouble conceiving, pregnancy and postpartum issues such as lactation, pelvic rehabilitation and depression.
Fertility tracking startup Glow also offers support on postpartum issues for women on its Glow Nurture app. While it doesn’t hook women up with a doctor’s visit, it does offer support and advice on where to get help should depression become an issue.
Ryder mentioned Maven will eventually work with other APIs to pull in vital data and that there will be more services added to support women of every stage of life in the future. She is currently testing a few things out with teenage girls who, Ryder says, have “a lot of potentially embarrassing questions.”