At Kleiner Perkins we aim to use the tools at our disposal — people, technology and capital — to serve humanity and bring goodness to the world. Our portfolio company, Progyny, exemplifies this aspiration by helping people achieve the dream of parenthood with its fertility and family building benefits solutions.
When we first invested in Progyny in May 2010, the company was focused on developing fertility technology and IVF services, a space that had seen limited innovation over the years. The company had developed a time-lapse imaging technology that measured the developing embryo to predict which one would be the most viable for impregnation. The technology was effective (ultimately we sold the product to Merck Serono) but our due diligence showed the bigger opportunity was in creating a benefit product to pay for fertility services.
In the United States, incidence rates for infertility are high, affecting one in eight couples (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.) While infertility has been recognized by the World Health Organization as a disease, many state legislators do not recognize the condition as one meriting mandated health insurance coverage, and for those states that do, coverage is often inadequate. It was an obvious opportunity for Progyny and in 2016 the company pivoted to launch its benefits solutions program.
The company’s first customers were Facebook and Google but other companies quickly came on board. Employees love the Progyny program because it provides access to the most effective fertility treatments from the best physicians, ensuring optimal outcomes without the burden and stress of prohibitive medical costs. Employers are also big fans because Progyny is able to lower the rate of expensive, high-risk, multiple embryo pregnancies (twins,triplets, etc.,) and the benefit fosters goodwill with employees. It’s a win-win for everyone and today, Progyny serves 1.4 million employees at 80 Fortune 500 companies. While a number of key metrics have driven customer growth, particularly impressive is how Progyny’s approach has led to a dramatic decrease in IVF multiples rate, reducing complications and costs from multiple embryos and premature births. (As of Sept 2018, national average for IVF multiples rate was 16.1% vs. 3.6% for Progyny clients at in-network clinics.)
No story about Progyny would be complete without acknowledgement of the exceptional work of its leadership team. When the company started to hit its growth trajectory in 2016, we knew we had to have a team that could manage high velocity growth and scale the company. We were fortunate to hire WebMD execs, David Schlanger as CEO and Peter Anevski as CFO and COO, both of whom are exceptional operators of the business. In turn, they were able to attract leaders in the field to build out a world class management team.
We are truly proud of what Progyny has achieved since its founding in 2010 and the joy it has brought to so many families in America. It’s hard to beat investing in a business where the product is babies!