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Kindbody hits unicorn status with M&A, carving deeper into $8B+ women's health market

The news: Fertility startup Kindbody acquired Vios Fertility Institute and its network of clinics, pushing Kindbody’s valuation to over $1 billion, and helping it carve even deeper inroads into the women's health market.

For context, Kindbody’s services include telehealth and in-person visits for services like in vitro fertilization (IVF), genetic and fertility testing, and surrogacy/adoption services.

  • Its acquisition of Vios gives it ownership of 26 new clinics across the US.

Trendspotting: Kindybody’s acquisition is the latest among an uptick of digital health M&As as virtual care companies race to claim larger stakes in the US’ multi-billion fertility industry.

  • Home testing and telehealth entrant Everly Health similarly acquired reproductive health startup Natalist, which includes a suite of products like ovulation tests, pregnancy tests, and prenatal supplements.
  • And last May, virtual care startup Ro doled out $225 million to buy Modern Fertility, a women's health startup that offers affordable at-home fertility tests and a digital app-based platform that displays fertility data to enable personalized care.

The big takeaway: Women's health is still a widely untapped market with a ton of expansion potential.

  • For one, consumers are more likely to digitally track fertility than any other other health metric: About 83% of consumers say they use digital methods to monitor their fertility, far from the 34% who use apps to track their medications, for example.
  • Plus, consumers’ interest in fertility tracking has only climbed since the pandemic began. So, the women's health market hasn’t hit its peak yet: The global women's health market is expected to top $15.4 billion by 2023, per Piper Sandler research.

What’s next? Most fertility-related tests and treatments are expensive and aren’t covered by traditional insurance. Women's health startups that boast ultra-transparent prices are likely going to appeal the most to new consumers.

Uncertainty around out-of-pocket costs is a top pain point for patients, and they’re more likely to opt for services when they know the exact cost of it:

  • About 79% of healthcare consumers are willing to pay out-of–pocket costs prior to (or at the time of) the visit if given a guaranteed price, per Cedar’s 2021 Healthcare consumer Experience Study.

Some fertility startups are already catering to consumer demand for hyper-transparent pricing by posting procedure costs on their website, which most traditional US health systems don’t do yet. For example, Kindbody posts estimated prices for its services without insurance, including a regular fertility assessment ($300) up to more costly IVF procedures ($13,500).