Evvy, a women’s health startup, closed its $14 million Series A funding round, which it will use to scale its vaginal health testing and care platform, the company announced Wednesday.
New York City-based Evvy is a direct-to-consumer company that launched in 2020 and offers a CLIA-validated at-home vaginal microbiome test. It checks for bacteria and fungi (or microbes) in people’s vaginas. It leverages metagenomic sequencing, which allows for an analysis of the entire genome. After taking the test, consumers receive a report that explains the microbes found in the vagina and the health conditions related to those microbes. For example, the test may pick up on Gardnerella vaginalis, which is related to Bacterial Vaginosis. Based on the results, consumers receive a customized treatment plan and a one-on-one virtual session with a coach. In addition, users can now add Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) and antibiotic resistance testing to its vaginal health test, the company also announced Wednesday.
The $14 million funding round was led by Left Lane Capital and included participation from General Catalyst, LabCorp Venture Fund, RH Capital, Ingeborg Investments, G9 Ventures, Virtue and Amboy Street Ventures. In total, Evvy has raised $19 million.
Despite securing the funds, it isn’t always easy to raise capital for a women’s health startup, particularly one that focuses on vaginal health, noted Priyanka Jain, CEO and co-founder of Evvy.
“I think the fact that a vaginal health company has raised $19 million alone is something that is pretty shocking and amazing for the system,” she said in an interview. “I think our content platforms across TikTok, across Instagram, across our blog, have done so much to help women and people with vaginas understand that if your vagina smells weird, you don’t need to buy a product to make it smell like a flower. If you’re experiencing vaginal odor, there’s a variety of different reasons that could be happening and many of them are normal.”
With the financing, the company is focusing on three areas. The first is integrating more closely with the healthcare system to ensure that women are getting the care they need, Jain said. This includes partnering with doctors and digital health companies to offer Evvy’s testing.
“[Vaginal discomfort] is the number one reason women go to the doctor. How can we actually help [women’s] interactions with the doctor be more effective? How can we make sure they get the right diagnosis, get the right treatment and go back to their lives?” Jain said.
In addition, the company would like to move into areas where the vaginal microbiome plays a major role in health outcomes, including fertility or pregnancy. Evvy also aims to launch a new set of diagnostics in women’s health, such as for gynecological cancers, pelvic inflammatory disease and endometriosis.
As well as raising funds, Evvy announced that it’s expanding its services by offering STI and antibiotic resistance testing as an add-on to its vaginal health test. The STIs this screens for include chlamydia, gonorrhea and trichomoniasis. It also identifies 11 vaginal microbes (similar to a vaginitis PCR test provided at doctor’s offices) and 17 antibiotic-resistance genes, meaning bacteria that are resistant to drugs.
“Given STIs play such an important role in vaginal health and in the reproductive system, it just seemed like a very obvious next place,” said Pita Navarro, head of clinical research and operations at Evvy. “On top of that, we were hearing from a lot of patients things like, ‘Where can I go to get STI testing? Can you help me? What does my STI mean with my vaginal health?’”
The vaginal health test costs $129 for a one-off purchase (or consumers can become a member and pay $99 per test and take the test every three months). The expanded test with STI and antibiotic resistance testing is an extra $119 per test.
There are other vaginal microbiome testing companies as well, including Juno Bio. This company also offers at-home testing and access to one-on-one coaching. However, it does not provide STI testing, according to its website.
Looking ahead, Evvy has several goals, including scaling its platform, improving research and development on vaginal health and reducing stigma on vaginal health, Jain said.
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