When Jeni Mayorskaya sought answers to questions related to her reproductive health, she not only found that maternity care had gaps, but that care requires different services depending on family dynamics.
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She set out to provide a new approach to care, founding San Francisco-based Stork Club in 2017, a maternity care platform that extends traditional insurance coverage to provide all possible options to anyone who wants to have a baby.
The company partners with major insurance providers to tell people how much they’ll pay out-of-pocket for maternity and fertility care up front so they can make informed decisions.
“Communication is so broken,” Mayorskaya told Crunchbase News. “You get a quick appointment, but everything happens so fast and you can feel alone. We prioritize the patient and create concierge guidance about the next steps and what are their responsibilities. For such expensive services, it can be stressful, so we communicate financial responsibility before receiving care. It’s such a tiny thing, but so good for people.”
General Catalyst led the newest capital infusion with existing investors Bowery Capital and Slow Ventures participating again, as well as a group of angel investors, including Jack Altman, Zach Sims, Oleg Rogynskyy and Kevin Mahaffey.
Maternity care, with insurance, is often the largest expense for companies, costing them $130 billion a year, according to Mayorskaya.
Those costs are driven by what she calls “million-dollar babies:” Births of multiple babies and premature babies who often spend time in the neonatal intensive care unit. In vitro fertilization methods often result in twins or triplets, she said. For a company with a few thousand covered employees, Stork Club is able to save it between $500,000 and $3 million dollars per year, she added.
In the year since Stork Club’s seed round, the company saw massive demand for its services, Mayorskaya said. During that time, new customers came on board, including Ropes & Gray, Corgan and Fors Marsh Group.
She saw women feeling burned out during the global pandemic, which was leading to the equity and gender gap getting wider. However, some companies were incentivized to close the gap.
“It shows how these types of services are necessary for this market,” she added. “We thought it would be hard given the environment, but we saw companies prioritize the cost of health and the importance of these types of benefits — reproductive, fertility, pregnancy, adoption and postpartum care.”
Last year, Stork Club experienced 5x growth in revenue, despite many fertility clinics being shut down and others struggling during the pandemic, Mayorskaya said. Its network currently includes more than 250 fertility clinic locations across the United States.
To meet the demand, the company intends to use the new capital to hire more talent, as well as continue developing its products and services. As part of the investment, General Catalyst Managing Director Hemant Taneja is joining Stork Club’s board of directors.
“This is not just a fancy perk, but a way to reduce overall maternity costs, retain and attract talent, and reduce costs while improving clinical outcomes,” Mayorskaya added.
Loren Straub, principal at Bowery Capital, said in an interview that she froze some of her eggs five months before meeting Mayorskaya. She and her husband were told it could cost between $10,000 and $30,000, but that was a large funding gap.
“I’ll never forget when Jeni told me about her approach to provide clarity on what you are going to pay for, which is a novel part of this industry, and she would do it because Stork Club is integrated with plan administrators, which is the only way they can provide this additional level of clarity,” Straub said. “Building out relationships with clinics and insurance companies, as well as prioritizing quality, is their secret sauce. Now they have actual case studies in place and success stories that they can reduce costs, help with retention and create a better experience for everyone.”
Feature photo of Stork Club founder Jeni Mayorskaya and inset screenshot courtesy of Stork Club.
Blogroll illustration: Dom Guzman
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