Oula Health

Care delivery models that reduce cost while improving patient outcomes are central to our health investment thesis here at Collaborative Fund. And opportunities for people to receive care in the most cost-effective settings for their needs are some of the most exciting to us. Today, we’re excited to announce that we recently led the seed round for Oula Health, a full-service maternity care platform.

With all of the innovation in digital health, therapeutics, and personalized medicine over the last decade, it’s hard to believe that the U.S. continues to rank among the most dangerous and expensive places to give birth among high income countries. Two troubling statistics stick out:

  1. The preterm birth rate in the U.S. is now 10% and has consistently increased for the last four years,

  2. Despite incredible medical advances over the last century, the U.S. maternal mortality rate has been on the rise since the 1980s. The U.S. ranks 55th worldwide.

You might think improving on these numbers would be easy for one of the wealthiest countries in the world. But reinventing maternity care remains complicated.

In the U.S., hospitals and obstetricians have been the center of the birth experience for 50+ years, while birth outside of the hospital is often seen as archaic. The majority of American women have been left with one of two options: the highly medical hospital experience, or an alternative home birth.

It wasn’t until we met the Oula team that we really understood the costs of such a polarized system – that largely leaves out midwives, doulas, and the evidence-based care they offer. Lily was lucky to have one of her last meetings before the COVID quarantine with Oula’s CEO Adrianne, and Taylor knew her from her last company, Robin Care. We were immediately struck by her and her co-founder Elaine’s clear vision to create a new standard for maternity care, where expecting families don’t have to compromise.

Back in May we led its $3.2M seed round, along with some of our friends at Female Founders Fund, 8VC, Rock Health, and Great Oaks. We are also excited to work alongside some stellar healthcare operators including Tom Lee from One Medical and Kate Ryder from Maven Clinic.

Building off an evidence-based model of midwife-led care and freestanding birth centers – both of which have been proven to significantly reduce preterm births and c-sections – Oula aims to make personalized, holistic maternity care accessible to everyone.

In addition to our enthusiasm around making high quality care accessible, we believe that one of the biggest innovations in healthcare services over the next 10 years will be in the way that healthcare is paid for. Collaborative care models and digital health tools will enable providers to succeed in value-based arrangements for high-spend conditions by delivering better outcomes with fewer high-cost interactions.

Oula Health is exactly that: a bold new approach to maternity care for low-risk births that will improve outcomes, reduce costs, remove stigma, and deliver an unmatched birthing experience to new families. We can’t wait for them to open their doors later this fall.