Our Investment in Maven Clinic: A Milestone for Maternal and Family Health

Our Investment in Maven Clinic: A Milestone for Maternal and Family Health

Today we announce our investment in Maven Clinic, whose Series D financing Lux is honored to co-lead along with Dragoneer, with participation from BOND and Sequoia Capital, Oak HC/FT, and Icon Ventures. With this funding, Maven becomes the first unicorn in women’s and family health — and ideally not the last.

It’s no secret that I’m a big believer in the massive opportunity for innovation and investment in women’s and family health. I’ve written and spoken about our thesis in the space, and we have invested in transformative technologies taking on everything from personalized birth control to advanced AI for IVF.

Let’s be clear: any parent or caregiver — regardless of gender — must draw on reserves of heroic proportions to navigate through the current health crisis, economic fallout, and the many other hurdles that the pandemic has precipitated. These compounded challenges, especially for mothers and families of color, are extraordinary — from the burnout of daily childcare to more existential anxieties around health, housing and food security. The New York Times has called the pandemic a “mental health crisis for parents,” resulting in a “primal scream” from mothers, a generation of whom could be “scarred.” And while the impetus to innovate in women’s and family health is not unique to the time of COVID, the pandemic has shed light on the failings of our fragmented, labyrinthine healthcare system for families and the untapped opportunities in the $648B care economy. From economies facing falling birth rates to the stark attrition of women from the workforce, stakeholders across the board are eager for a better and more comprehensive solution to family care.

Maven’s founder and CEO, Kate Ryder — a former journalist and mother who had her third child during the pandemic — started the digital health company in 2014 after witnessing firsthand these gaps in care, from fertility through pregnancy and parenting. She is one of the most impressive CEOs we’ve met, scaling her company over the last few months with a newborn in tow, recovering from an emergency c-section, all the while co-parenting two other toddlers.

We’ve had the opportunity to get to know Kate and Maven over the course of several years (during which she not only grew her business, but her family!) and have been awed by her leadership and by the quality and comprehensiveness of the Maven solution — as is evidenced by their happy customers. Maven has the largest and most diverse set of practitioners in the category–across 30 specialties and 350 subspecialties–and is the only platform that serves the full range of the parenthood journey in all its depth and diversity, meeting the financial, emotional, and physical challenges women and families face in their unique paths to parenthood. They have increased their enterprise membership 400% since the onset of COVID, bringing on four of the Fortune 15 as clients in the past year (including Microsoft) and offering an average of 130 different touch points per program.

In addition to our deep conviction in the growing market and investment opportunity, my passion for the space is also deeply personal. As a mother of two, I experienced high risk pregnancies with multiple complications, emergency c-sections, NICU stays, and breastfeeding challenges — all of which gave me direct insight into myriad challenges as a parent and a patient. And I was among the most fortunate in this world in terms of access to quality care and resources. It is no coincidence that I am joined on Maven’s Board of Directors by two other mothers (Jess Lee of Sequoia and Nancy Brown of Oak) and a brand new father (Eric Jones of Dragoneer), whose personal journeys have also informed their professional conviction in the category. With significant traction, ROI, and demonstrated outcomes, Maven stands at the forefront of an industry at a critical inflection point..

While this financing is a major milestone for women’s and family health, it is still only the beginning. We are optimistic about what the future holds for the company — and most importantly, its potential to improve outcomes in population health, one family at a time.

written by
Deena Shakir
General Partner

Deena's investments span stages and sectors, and include women's health, digital health infrastructure, health equity, foodtech, and fintech. Above all, she seeks out extraordinary, often underdog, founders on a mission.

Prior to Lux, Deena was a Partner at GV (formerly Google Ventures), led product partnerships at Google for health, search, and AI/ML, and directed social impact investments at Google.org. Deena also served as a Presidential Management Fellow at The U.S. Department of State under Secretary Clinton, where she helped launch President Obama’s first Global Entrepreneurship Summit.

What you seek is seeking you. –Jalaluddin Rumi

Deena self-funded her undergraduate degree at Harvard (Social Studies and Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations) and MA at Georgetown through a variety of merit scholarships and side hustles, including co-founding and selling her first company while in college. She is a Lecturer in Management at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, a Board Director for the National Venture Capital Association, and a member of Kauffman Fellows, Aspen Finance Fellows, and The Council on Foreign Relations. 

Deena is a frequent speaker and commentator and has been featured in print and television on Bloomberg, CNBC and NBC, in print in the Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Forbes, Techcrunch, Marie Claire, STAT, and more, and has delivered keynote addresses at major industry conferences. She was named a "Top 30 Under 40 in Healthcare" by Business Insider and "Top Senior Woman to Watch in Venture Capital" by the Wall Street Journal in 2021, "Top 50 in Digital Health" by Rock Health and 40 Under 40 by Fortune Magazine in 2022.

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Our Investment in Maven Clinic: A Milestone for Maternal and Family Health

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