A new trend is emerging in the world of startups and, to many, it couldn’t have come too soon. Why are there so few women in senior roles? Women going through menopause are commonly known to drop out of leadership roles, for instance. In the U.K., menopause is responsible for about 14 million lost working days and 1 million premature career exits, according to research. Indeed, we only just reported on the new startup Peppy, which is addressing this in employee health.
Now, Vira Health has raised £1.5 million in seed funding from LocalGlobe and MMC Ventures. The round also included angel investors such as Megumi Ikeda (Hearst Ventures), Andrea Zitna of Elvie, Sophia Bendz, Matt Robinson, and Simon Lambert.
Founded in 2020 by Andrea Berchowitz and Rebecca Love, Vira Health is about personalized menopause care. Its first product, Stella, is an app for menopause relief highlighting 12-week menopause treatment plans, content and virtual events such as yoga classes or a Q&A with a gynecologist.
Andrea Berchowitz, co-founder, Vira Health, said:
Female health issues have historically been underresearched and underinvested, and this remains the case today. There is an opportunity to use technology to redress this balance by improving the collection and use of female data in healthcare. This first round of seed funding is a step towards realizing our vision.
Remus Brett, investment partner, LocalGlobe said: “Menopause represents a major phase of a woman’s life and the current healthcare system struggles to provide the multifaceted and long-term support that women need.”
Alexia Arts, investor, MMC Ventures, said: “At MMC Ventures, healthcare is a key area of research and investment. We see a huge potential in capturing and harnessing data insights to reshape the way that healthcare is practiced and delivered. This is particularly relevant in female healthcare where there is a well-documented gender data gap that needs to be addressed.”
Prior to launching Vira Health, Berchowitz was an associate partner at McKinsey & Company, working in women’s health across the public and private sector, and led Middle East operations for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.