As published in mobihealthnews, May 26, 2015
By Aditi Pai
Boston-based women's health app developer Ovuline has raised $3.2 million from Martin Ventures and Zaffre Investments, the investment arm of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. About $1 million of this investment came from Zaffre Investments. This brings the company’s total funding to at least $5.7 million.
Ovuline offers two apps, Ovia Pregnancy and Ovia Fertility, which help women track their fertility and pregnancy through iOS and Android apps.
Ovuline CEO Paris Wallace told MobiHealthNews they plan to use the new funds to build out their presence in the benefits and insurance space. The company recently launched a new feature, called Ovia Benefits, that pulls benefits information from 250 health plans and then offers Ovuline users access to their fertility and pregnancy health insurance information directly from the app. Some benefits information that could be available to users includes a high-risk pregnancy program, a covered breast pump, and pre-natal massage.
"Our users can self-report their health plan and then after they’ve done so, they get contextual, highly personalized content about their health benefits and other programs that are applicable to them in their unique situation," Wallace explained.
He added that Zaffre Investments decided to invest after the firm's parent company saw positive early results from a pilot they launched with Ovuline. The pilot is designed to use Ovuline's apps to identify which BCBSMA members were pregnant or trying to conceive and then to provide these members with information about benefits available to them through BCBSMA.
Ovia Benefits first went live in February, and has received a positive response from users so far, Wallace said.
"We have had over 75,000 users report their insurer within the app in the first couple months that the feature has been available," Wallace said. "And the content that we’re providing the users because it’s so personalized and so relevant to them, is actually some of the most engaging content that we have in the app."
Later this year, Wallace said the company plans to start publishing more of the data they are collecting. As part of this initiative, they also plan to partner with academic institutions.
Last month, Ovuline released a number of statistics about the women that use their Ovia Pregnancy app. Ovuline found that the average age of women using the app is 26.8 years old. These women have reported feeling happy twice as often as feeling sad and 71 percent have a job — 50 percent of those women plan to keep working until their due date. Over half, 58 percent, of the women have attended college and 18 percent have a post-graduate degree. Their favorite exercise activity is walking, followed by weight lifting and their average pre-pregnancy weight is 155 pounds.