Oula raises $19M Series A for hybrid maternity care

Maternity care provider Oula has raised $19.1 million in Series A funding for a hybrid model that integrates midwives and obstetricians, CEO Adrianne Nickerson told Axios EXCLUSIVELY.

Important reasons: The U.S. maternal mortality rate is three times higher than in most other high-income countries, and the maternal mortality rate for blacks is three times higher than for whites.

yes and: A 2020 study published in The Lancet Global Health suggests that expanding midwifery services, one of Oula’s key goals, can close the healthcare access gap and reduce maternal mortality. it was done.

  • “Midwives should be part of the pregnancy model,” says women’s health investor and author Leslie Schrock. “That’s just what families want. They’re trained to spend more time on visits and focus on the whole person.”
  • “Stepping into an appointment with them feels like a half-cure, half-cure,” Schrock adds.

Transaction details: 8VC led the round, bringing Oula’s total funding to $22.3 million.

  • Insiders including Chelsea Clinton’s Metrodora, Women Founders Fund, Collaborative Fund and Alumni Ventures also participated in the round.
  • Nickerson declined to disclose the company’s current valuation, but told Axios that it was eight times its seed-raising value.
  • The new funding will be used to expand Oula’s postnatal care offerings and add ultrasound to its list of services. The company will likely raise a Series B in 2023.

State of play: Based in New York City, Oula joins a group of newly-funded companies focused on women’s health and reproductive care.

Usage: Oula offers a combination of in-person and virtual maternity care and operates two clinics in New York City.

  • We accept most major insurance plans including Aetna, Cigna, Blue Cross Blue Shield (Commercial and Medicaid). The median age of Oula patients is 34 years.

  • Services include prenatal visits, virtual classes and visits, deliveries at Mount Sinai West Hospital, virtual and in-person postnatal check-ins.

Opposite side: Oula does not currently offer two services that are extremely helpful for pregnant women and families. Home visits or pelvic floor therapy.

  • The company refers patients to the latter’s network of providers.

Backstory: Nickerson co-founded and led Robin Care, a healthtech company focused on cancer care, before launching Oula.

  • “You may not think oncology and pregnancy are similar, but they are both all-consuming. They have taken over your life and the challenges are not just clinical,” she says. .

One fun thing: Oula is pronounced “oo-la” (as in doula) to emphasize the importance of focusing on the pregnant woman’s experience during pregnancy and childbirth.

What they say: Nickerson said Oura’s model aims to be affordable and inclusive by accepting insurance, providing culturally-appropriate care and providing “women and their voices at the center.” There is

  • “I started family planning in my 30s,” adds Nickerson.
  • “We’re focused on making things accessible. We didn’t want to be the 1% model,” she says.

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