Tech-enabled maternity clinic Millie raised $4 million in a seed funding round led by TMV Ventures and BBG Ventures.
Others participating in the financing round include Venn Growth Partners; Looking Glass Capital; Learn Capital; Hustle Fund; Banana Capital’s Turner Novak; Michelle Kennedy of fertility and motherhood-focused social media platform Peanut; and Tristan Walker, founder and CEO of Walker & Company, a health and beauty brand.
WHAT THEY DO
The startup offers virtual maternity care services and plans to open an in-person clinic in Berkeley, Calif., at the end of the month.
Millie provides patients with a care team made up of an OB-GYN, a midwife and a doula. Patients receive three postpartum visits with a Millie clinician, including the first in-home appointment within a week after giving birth.
They can remotely monitor patients using devices like blood pressure cuffs, and patients can access mental health services, nutrition counseling and lactation support though Millie’s app.
“I had endured an induction, over two days of labor, and an unplanned C-section with near-hemorrhage and, while this was the definition of a high-risk delivery, I was sent home with ‘standard’ care instructions to see my OB in six weeks. That resulted in a near miss,” CEO Anu Sharma said in a statement. “I spoke with Talia, my midwife at the time, and asked her, ‘If you could provide care the way you know people need, what would that look like?’ Today, I’m proud to say that we’re providing that level of attentive care through Millie.”
Pregnant patients in the U.S. face worse health outcomes compared with other wealthy nations. In 2020, the CDC reported the country’s maternal mortality rate was 23.8 deaths per 100,000 live births, rising from 20.1 in 2019. Black women’s maternal mortality rate reached 55.3 deaths per 100,000 live births, nearly three times the rate of non-Hispanic white women.
There are a number of maternal care and pregnancy-focused digital health startups currently fundraising. Earlier this year, Cayaba Care scooped up $12 million, while Mahmee raised $9.2 million. Babyscripts announced it had raised another $7.5 million in Series B funding in November, building on $12 million it had scooped up earlier last fall.
In April, virtual behavioral health company Brave Health partnered with the Doula Network, a service that pairs pregnant Medicaid patients with doulas, to add maternal mental healthcare services to its offerings.