Maven, a women’s health and family planning startup, announced that it has raised $45 million from investors — one of the largest funding rounds for a healthcare company helmed by a woman, according to Forbes.
Individual investors included actresses Reese Witherspoon, Natalie Portman and Mindy Kaling, as well as 23andMe co-founder and CEO Anne Wojcicki.
The company, started by Kate Ryder in 2014, provides millennial women with personalized health services through a mobile app, as well as postpartum resources for working moms such as breast milk shipping. Since launching the company, she is now the parent of a two-year-old and a three-year-old.
This round has brought Maven’s total funding to a staggering $88 million. Ryder said part of the money will go toward starting Maven Pediatrics this year.
“If the first mindset shift was convincing people that women’s health matters, now I think we are in a second mindset shift,” Ryder told the business magazine. “Not only does it matter, but it is the core of a functional healthcare system.”
Her words might resonate with women outraged over ABC’s decision to pull a commercial during the Oscars from another women’s health startup showing a postpartum woman using the bathroom. The startup, Frida, took the television station to task on social media, garnering hundreds of thousands of supporters.
“If you don’t help women and babies at the start of life, how do you build a functional healthcare system?” Ryder continued. “It’s not just a niche, it’s actually the core.”