Health Tech

Menopause Startup Raises $3.3M in Funding Led By UPMC

Elektra Health, a virtual provider for menopause care, has secured $3.3 million in financing. With the funding, the company is focused on two areas: partnering with more payers and expanding its footprint to provide clinical care to more patients.

Elektra Health, a digital health company for women going through menopause, has secured $3.3 million in extended seed funding, which it will use to expand its care to more patients, it announced Wednesday.

New York City-based Elektra Health, founded in 2019, offers virtual clinical care for menopause in New York, Connecticut and Florida (and soon Massachusetts and Pennsylvania). This clinical care includes a personalized care plan, labs, prescriptions and virtual visits with a care team. Across all 50 states, the company also offers educational content, messaging with a menopause guide, a personalized wellness plan and community support. Elektra Health works with health plans, including Mass General Brigham Health Plan and EmblemHealth. The company also works directly with some employers and offers a cash pay option for consumers.

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“The healthcare system today privileges the reproductive window and really anything related to family building and maternal health. … I fully agree that we need much better care and support for the maternal health journey, but it should not come at the exclusion of how we care for women so that they can live in good health and have good quality outcomes for those years that follow that menopause transition,” said Jannine Versi, co-founder and COO of the company, in an interview.

The $3.3 million in funding was led by UPMC Enterprises, the venture capital arm of UPMC. Wavemaker 360, Flare Capital Partners and Seven Seven Six Fund also participated in the funding round. In total, the company has raised $7.6 million.

UPMC chose to invest in Elektra Health because of its aim to fill an unmet need in women’s health.

“UPMC is interested in investing in solutions that focus on empowering women and Elektra proved to have all the elements UPMC values in this space: evidence-based education and care that prioritizes women’s health needs and drives outcomes,” said Kathryn Heffernan, senior director of strategic product management at UPMC Enterprises, in a statement. “The goal of the Elektra platform is to fill a gap and provide innovative opportunities to strengthen the doctor-patient relationship as women move through the menopause transition.”

With the financing, Elektra Health is focused on two areas: partnering with more payers and expanding its footprint to provide clinical care to more patients, Versi said. The company is also growing its team.

Just about every woman will go through menopause, but only 20% of OB/GYN residency programs in the U.S. provide menopause training. Women experiencing menopause face a range of symptoms, including hot flashes, trouble sleeping, brain fog and mood changes. In addition, recent research from Mayo Clinic shows that menopause costs $1.8 billion in lost work time per year.

But menopause care has been gaining more traction recently. Recognizing the need among female workers, more and more employers are looking to offer menopause support. Several other virtual providers are also in the space and are dedicated to menopause treatment, including Evernow, Gennev and Midi Health. And there is a growing recognition that women’s health is not a “monolith,” Versi said.

“As with every other part of healthcare, we can’t sort of lump together the healthcare services and needs of 50% of the population and call it a day,” Versi declared. “I think this funding represents a sophistication in the market as it relates to investors and stakeholders who think about women’s health over the lifespan.”

Photo: :Peter Dazeley, Getty Images