Kindbody TC-1 Part 1: Origin Story
when the topic of fertility, we often hear quietly about someone else’s or your own journey through infertility. Sure, celebrities have started talking about it, but we’re rarely taught about it in health class. It’s also not usually a topic of discussion over holiday appetizers.
At a time when the world grapples with inequalities around health and wellness, reproductive health continues to be largely ignored in the conversation. The science and medicine around fertility are presented with an air of complexity that, in most cases, leaves patients feeling lost, scared and alone.
Changing a system that is reactionary instead of proactive is far from simple. To achieve even a marginal improvement, it would be necessary to thread education, accessibility, and perhaps putting compassion before profit and growth.
kind appears to be one of the few startups in the space that is well on its way to tackling this gargantuan challenge. Their approach is also drastically different from that of most fertility service providers: they have clever and astute marketing; a fully virtual and technology-enabled call center; a focus on compassion; and extensive client education to help patients feel involved and understood.
The company today has 12 outlets in ten cities across the US and is rapidly ramping up its scaling efforts with more than $154 million raised so far. Aimed at being a one-stop shop for fertility, gynecology, and wellness services, Kindbody serves heterosexual couples, single mothers by choice, and members of the LGBTQ+ community.
Gina Bartasi launched Kindbody, her third fertility startup, in 2018 after her own journey helped her understand how broken and antagonistic the system is. With an eye toward inclusion, holistic care, and reducing friction in the patient journey, Bartasi and her team have created one of the few healthcare companies that make a difference.
The first thing I noticed on my fertility journey was that all the doctors I saw in the fertility industry were older white men. Gina Bartasi, Founder of Kindbody
In this first part of this TC-1, we will explore Bartasi’s journey, issues in the fertility space, the difference clear pricing and communication can make, and how the removal of white coats and display of titles in the offices has helped Kindbody become one of the preferred destinations for fertility treatments.
Address how we approach fertility
Bartasi originally ran a media company in Atlanta, but sold it after she married and moved to New York City to be with her husband. When she was 38 years old, she and her husband decided to start trying for a baby and, like many women a decade ago, were met with an experience that was far from the warmth and care one would expect in such an intimate moment. .
“The first thing I noticed on my fertility journey was that all the doctors I saw in the fertility industry were older white men,” she told me. “They treated me like a subordinate, as if the doctor knew everything and our mission was to do exactly what he said, even though he was paying $25,000, successful or not.”
This experience prompted her to launch her first fertility startup in 2008, Fertility Authority, a content platform and fertility clinic review website for those dealing with infertility.
A few years later, in 2015, the company was renamed Progyny after it was purchased by Kleiner Perkins and TPG Biotech. The content platform was retained, but the company’s focus shifted to selling fertility benefits to self-insured employers.
While a fertility insurance solution seemed like a great idea, the reality of how health care is set up in the US created some significant hurdles.