Genneve, a Seattle startup that runs a telemedicine service for women experiencing menopause, landed a $4 million seed round led by BlueRun Ventures. The fresh cash will be used to grow the company’s user base and geographic footprint.
Maven Ventures and Startup Health also invested in the round, which brought the startup’s total funding to date to $5.3 million.
CEO Jill Angelo characterizes Genneve’s target market as “women kicking off the second half of life, starting with menopause.” Telemedicine was a bit of a pivot for the three-year-old startup, which first launched by selling personal lubricants and information for menopausal women.
Genneve debuted the telemedicine program in January as one way to address the shortage of OB-GYN providers in America. Nearly half of all U.S. counties lack a single OB-GYN provider, and the shortfall is expected to reach 8,000 in 2020, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
“Genneve is addressing a large and unserved market,” BlueRun Ventures managing partner Cheryl Cheng said in an email. BlueRun invests in digital health and consumer tech startups. “We are excited about the opportunity to use technology and data to help women understand and manage their health in the second half of life in a personalized way.”
The startup plans to grow the telemedicine service to all 50 states by the end of 2020 — it currently operates in 23 states — and is hiring for product development, engineering and marketing personnel. In addition to the telemedicine service and personal lubricants, Genneve also sells a magnesium supplement.
Genneve’s competition includes Rory, a sister company to erectile dysfunction startup Roman, which offers over-the-counter products for menopause as well as prescription treatments, which can be given to patients after an online doctor’s visit. Pepper and Wits, which is backed by Procter & Gamble, also sells similar products and offers advice through a “menopause navigator.”
Angelo spent more than 15 years at Microsoft on the marketing and product side, but in late 2016 decided to take the leap and launch Genneve. In addition to Angelo, the company has three full-time employees:
- Sarah Ramsay, vice president of technology, was an executive at Wildflower Health and Providence Health Systems.
- Dr. Rebecca Dunsmoor-Su, medical director, is an OB-GYN physician.
- Shannon Perry, director of media and marketing, is a longtime marketing professional, writer and blogger.
Angelo recently graduated from the Microsoft Cloud Accelerator Program, an initiative led by Women in Cloud, Microsoft and cross-industry collaboration company Ideagen.