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Digital wombs: AI startups reshaping fertility in Europe in 2024

The global fertility services market is expected to reach $1.6 billion in 2030, at a CAGR of 15.7%. According to a report published today by WHO, around 17.5% of the adult population, which is nearly 1 in 6 worldwide, experience infertility. This large number shows the urgent need to increase access to affordable, high-quality fertility care for those in need.

Despite the magnitude of the issue, solutions for the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of infertility, including assisted reproductive technology such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) remain underfunded and inaccessible. to many due to high costs, social stigma, and limited availability.

One of the leading causes of IVF failure is embryo transfer, with a live birth rate below 30%. Enhancing embryo evaluation and selection, and increasing live birth rates, will require the adoption of novel technologies such as AI. Several AI-based methods are evaluating human embryos. These can be implemented for other clinical aspects of IVF, such as assessing patient reproductive potential. As AI can analyse big data, the ultimate goal will be to apply AI tools to the analysis of all embryological, clinical, and genetic data to provide patient-tailored treatments.

That said, here is a list of startups that revolutionise fertility and pregnancy with AI, based on our findings from Dealroom.

Manina MedTech (Spain)

Manina Medtech
Picture credits: Manina Medtech

Founder/s: Monica de la Vega, Luis Manuel Artiles
Founded year: 2021
Total funding: $1.9M

A spin-off from the Vall d’Hebron Institute of Research (VHIR), Manina MedTech, has developed a technology called SEEDCHRONY, a test based on AI. It calculates the best time to carry out the embryo transfer, thereby increasing the chances of a positive result in IVF. SEEDCHRONY performs measurements from uterine fluid and offers immediate results that allow testing and transfer to be performed on the same day.

Recently, the Spanish startup scored €1.75 million in funding. The round was led by Medex Partners, with investment from a consortium of business angels and support from the Ministerio de Cienciae Innovación through its national scientific research and transfer program. The investment will support the development and clinical trials of their medical device – SEEDCHRONY.

Sonio (France)

Picture credits: Sonio

Founder/s: Cécile Brosset, David Amouyal, Rémi Besson, Dagmar Nuber, Deepak Prakash
Founded year: 2020
Total funding: $22.3M

Femtech startup Sonio is an AI-powered prenatal screening solution, which automates ultrasound reporting. The company aims to ensure healthy pregnancies worldwide. Its solution – Sonio Diagnostics is CE-marked and designed for expert diagnostic ultrasounds. Another solution – Sonio Pro is tailored to secure and bring more efficiency to routine pregnancy ultrasounds.

Back in July 2023, Sonio raised $14 million in funding led by North American impact fund Cross Border Impact Ventures and the Elaia funds, French Tech Seed managed on behalf of the State by Bpifrance in the framework of France 2030, OneRagtime, and returning angel investors. It announced that the investment will be used to improve its solution, initiate its commercial development in the US, and adapt its technology to be used in ultrasound scanners.

Apricity (UK)

Picture credits: Apricity

Founder/s: Caroline Noublanche
Founded year: 2019
Total funding: $25.3M

London-headquartered Apricity disrupts the fertility treatment experience and improves chances for women and couples who have difficulties conceiving using data and AI. The service assists with every fertility treatment journey and provides continuous, personalised support through its app. It has developed the first-of-its-kind AI algorithms that identify the most suitable fertility treatment for patients and determine the best embryo for selection through 3D reconstruction.

In 2022, Apricity raised €17 million in a Series B round led by MTIP with participation from Barcelona-based specialist consumer fund Iris Ventures. The funds helped accelerate its growth in the UK, expand to Spain, Germany, and Italy, and further develop its technology.

MIM Fertility (Poland)

MIM Fertility
Picture credits: MIM Fertility

Founder/s: Piotr Wygocki​, Ula Sankowska, Piotr Sankowski
Founded year: 2015
Total funding: $2M

MIM Fertility, a Polish fertility startup provides predictive and recommendation systems, analysing images and videos. The company focuses on developing AI-powered software platforms such as EMBRYOAID and FOLLISCAN. The former is an AI decision support tool for embryologists, which automatically ranks and prioritises the most viable embryos for successful IVF transfer. The latter supports doctors in the ultrasound examination and decision-making process. AI tool identifies and counts follicles in the woman’s ovaries, and predicts oocyte retrieval day.

Late last year, MIM Fertility bagged $2M in a seed funding round. The investment was led by Warsaw-based venture capital investors, Tangent Line and Peleton. The company plans to use the funds to advance Its AI-enabled IVF solutions.

Flo (UK)

Picture credits: Flo

Founder/s: Dmitry Gurski, Andrew Kovzel
Founded year: 2016
Total funding: $76.4M

Yet another London-based startup Flo supports women during their entire reproductive lives and provides curated cycle and ovulation tracking, personalised health insights, expert tips, and a fully closed community for women to share their questions and concerns. Flo prioritises safety and focuses on being the most trusted digital source for women’s health information. Back in 2021, Flo secured a $50 million Series B funding round from Target Global and VNV Global.

Aura Fertility (UK)

Aura Fertility
Picture credits: Aura Fertility

Founder/s: Abi Hannah, Karen Hanson
Founded year: 2019
Total funding: NA

Founded by two women who faced the traumatic experience of miscarriages and failed IVF cycles, Aura Fertility disrupts the fertility market by working alongside clinics to support the emotional health and fertility well-being of their patients. With its B2C app, the company helps IVF patients feel informed, more in control, and confident at every turn. In 2022, Aura Fertility snapped €700k in pre-seed funding led by Ascension alongside notable investors, including Charlotte Street Capital and the VP of Snap.

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