How Midi raised millions for a menopause-focused platform with Joanna Strober from Midi

How Midi raised millions for a menopause-focused platform with Joanna Strober from Midi

Introduction (00:00:00)

  • Midi is a virtual healthcare platform focused on women in midlife.
  • It is staffed with healthcare providers specifically trained to care for people going through perimenopause and menopause.
  • 80% of OBGYNs are not specifically trained in menopause.
  • Women have traditionally been underserved by the medical industry for menopause.
  • Midi's mission is to provide accessible, affordable, and personalized healthcare to women in midlife.
  • It offers a range of services, including virtual consultations, medication management, and lifestyle coaching.
  • Midi's team of healthcare providers includes doctors, nurse practitioners, and health coaches.
  • Midi recently raised $7 million in seed funding.
  • The funding will be used to expand the platform's services and reach more women.
  • Midi plans to use the funding to grow its team, expand its services, and reach more women.

Midi and Joanna’s background (00:01:27)

  • Midi is a midlife care company that provides expert care to women aged 35 to 65 through telemedicine.
  • Joanna, the founder of Midi, became interested in women's health after experiencing symptoms of perimenopause and realizing that many healthcare providers were not trained to recognize and treat these symptoms.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic created an opportunity to start Midi because it made it possible to deliver care nationally through telemedicine, which was not feasible before.
  • Midi raised $3.5 million in seed funding from investors including BoxGroup, Define Ventures, and W Health Ventures.
  • The company plans to use the funding to expand its team, develop new products and services, and market its platform to women.
  • Midi is also in talks with insurance companies to cover its services.

The care gap (00:04:38)

  • Lack of knowledge and access to menopause care despite its prevalence.
  • Misinterpretation of the Women's Health Initiative study in 2001 led to a decline in hormone therapy and research on menopause.
  • Consequently, a generation of women have been underserved due to misinformation.
  • Opportunity arises to train a new generation of providers with better information to improve women's care.
  • Midi raised $7 million in seed funding.
  • Investors include:
    • Sequoia
    • General Catalyst
    • BoxGroup
    • Female Founders Fund
    • Gwyneth Paltrow
  • Funding will be used for:
    • Product development
    • Hiring
    • Marketing
    • Research

Building out research-based care protocols (00:07:12)

  • Spent a year researching women's symptoms of perimenopause and menopause.
  • Created care protocols for various symptoms including hot flashes, night sweats, anxiety, depression, joint pain, hair thinning, and face issues.
  • Sought hormone solutions, non-hormonal medications, supplements, and lifestyle recommendations for each symptom.
  • Conducted pilot programs with women to gather feedback on care development and patient experience.
  • Women want to be listened to, understood, and cared for.
  • They desire longer consultations than the typical six-minute primary care visits.
  • Midi combines expertise, insurance coverage, and trained providers who prioritize listening and providing appropriate medical care.
  • Criticizes the streamlined approach of some digital healthcare companies that prioritize efficiency over patient interaction.

Demand for menopause care (00:10:00)

  • Women are excited to have someone understand and take care of them.
  • Midi is growing fast because they found an area that people are really interested in getting care.
  • Despite raising money in 2021, it was not easy for Midi.
  • There was not a lot of interest in menopause care when Midi started pitching investors.
  • Midi worked hard to get their first financing round and prove out their platform.
  • Many tele health companies had the wrong model, focusing on one-off doctor appointments and not building long-term customer relationships.
  • Midi views themselves as building a healthcare trusted brand with expert care for women, leading to repeat customers.
  • Therapy companies are doing well because they offer long-term relationships with providers.
  • Healthcare is going to change, and Midi believes they got ahead of the curve in terms of what type of companies will be sustainable in the long term.

Joanna’s previous founder experience (00:13:28)

  • Started a childhood obesity company called Kerbo in 2014.
  • Kerbo helped kids lose weight and learn healthy habits.
  • Marketing challenge: moms were reluctant to tell their kids they were overweight.
  • High customer acquisition cost (CAC) due to the short-term nature of the solution.
  • Learned the importance of building long-term relationships with customers.
  • Excited about the opportunity to solve a significant problem.
  • Felt she had unique insights into the problem of menopause.
  • Starting a company is hard but exhilarating when you believe you can make a difference.

Learnings from starting in VC (00:17:04)

  • Joanna Strober worked in venture capital before becoming a founder.
  • This experience gave her valuable insights into how companies can succeed and fail.
  • She learned the importance of focusing on risks that can be controlled and not dwelling on those that cannot.
  • She also saw the importance of resilience in entrepreneurs.
  • Midi is a menopause-focused platform that provides resources and support to women.
  • The company raised $3.5 million in seed funding from investors including Sequoia Capital and Khosla Ventures.
  • Midi plans to use the funding to expand its team, develop new products, and grow its user base.

Building out the Midi team (00:19:33)

  • Midi aimed to build a team of experienced women passionate about solving women's healthcare issues.
  • The team consists mostly of senior-level women who are motivated to scale expert women's care nationwide.
  • Midi has a collaborative work environment with a focus on low ego and a shared mission.
  • The company prioritizes hiring people who align with their mission and values.
  • Regular discussions and reinforcement of the company's mission, vision, and values help maintain alignment.
  • Patient care is the guiding principle for all decisions, ensuring a unified focus on providing the best care for patients.

Working with employers and insurance companies (00:22:56)

  • Midi works with employers to provide menopause care to their female employees.
  • Employers have a vested interest in women thriving and performing well at work.
  • Midi collaborates with healthcare systems to ensure women get appropriate in-person care when needed.
  • Midi integrates records and works with health information exchanges to share data across providers.

Launching in 50 states (00:24:50)

  • Midi, a menopause-focused platform founded by Joanna Strober, expanded nationwide to meet the needs of large employers and provide comprehensive care.
  • The digital health and women's health startup space often focuses on specific aspects of women's health, such as pregnancy and younger demographics, while Midi addresses the needs of a broader target audience.
  • A significant portion (40%) of women using Midi's platform have not seen a doctor in 4 to 10 years, highlighting the need for accessible healthcare solutions.
  • Midi successfully addresses the gap in healthcare for women who move frequently and lack primary care providers, especially considering the lengthy waiting periods (up to 9 months) to see a primary care physician in many areas.

Fundraising experience (00:28:59)

  • Fundraising is a journey and about relationship building.
  • Relationships that enabled Midi to raise funds were formed over several years.
  • Emerson Collective led the round, having witnessed Midi's growth and exceeded expectations.
  • Fundraising was oversubscribed due to excitement about Midi's work, women's health, and rapid growth.
  • Midi plans to focus on understanding the health needs of women during perimenopause and menopause.
  • Aiming to become the expert care platform for women in this age category and serve millions of women.
  • Exploring areas such as testosterone, sexual wellness, hair, and skin care that women in this age group are interested in.

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