Inito, a YC alum that helps women track fertility hormones quickly at home, has raised $6 million in Series A funding led by Fireside Ventures. The startup’s fertility monitor and kit is designed to give users easy-to-read fertility diagnostic results directly on their phone in just 10 minutes.
The Bengaluru, India-based startup was founded in 2015 by CEO Aayush Rai and CTO Varun AV, who previously worked at medtech giant Siemens. Rai worked on product development, while AV was a researcher for medical products. The duo bonded during their Sunday kayaking sessions and chatted about how they wanted to spend their lives doing something that actually impacted people’s lives. They ended up leaving their jobs to start Inito to build tools that would empower people to manage and understand their health at home.
While standard at-home ovulation tests predict your fertile days by tracking Estrogen and Luteinizing Hormone (LH), they don’t measure the hormone that confirms your ovulation, which is Progesterone Metabolite PdG. Inito measures four fertility hormones: Estrogen, LH, Progesterone Metabolite PdG and FSH on a single test strip.
The kit comes with the monitor, test strips and access to the Inito app. The monitor snaps onto your smartphone and can read high density test strips with precision. Once you sign up in the app and input your cycle history, Inito reminds you to test on certain days and provides step by step instructions. You dip the test strip in urine, snap the monitor to your phone and insert the test strip into the monitor.
With other standard tests, you get “yes/no” results, and you need to use different test strips to track fertile days and confirm ovulation. Inito provides numerical values of your fertility hormones and personalizes results to your body. It gives your full fertile window of six days and also confirms if you actually ovulate by looking at the rise in Progesterone metabolite PdG.
The company notes that if you have irregular cycles, actual data is necessary to know exactly when you ovulate, and when it’s the best time to try to conceive.
“Unlike other products that leave the interpretation of hormone values to the user, our app looks at the evolution of four hormones together and determines if the fertility rating for that day is low, high or peak and if ovulation has indeed occurred in this cycle,” Rai told TechCrunch. “With the latest advancements in AI, we have taken this one step further by explaining why a result was given in natural language.”
The Inito Fertility Monitor is registered with the FDA as a Class I medical device that is exempt from FDA’s premarket notification submission requirements.
As for the new funding, the startup plans to use it to build even more advanced analytics with the help of AI. Inito users have taken over 2.5 million tests, which Rai says gives the startup a massive data set to train its algorithms on the interplay of the four key hormones in a menstrual cycle. The startup wants to be able to allow users to correlate symptoms, moods, sleep patterns and medications to their hormones.
Inito also wants to scale its business operations. The startup’s app is currently only available on iOS, but Inito plans to use the new funding to build an Android app. In addition, Inito wants to invest and R&D for new products.
“While fertility hormone testing is our first product, this funding raise will allow us to invest in R&D for new tests that cater to solving problems faced by both patients and practitioners,” Rai said. “We are building point of care tests for tracking pregnancy health, ovarian reserve and male fertility hormones. Our technology uses a combination of hardware, biotechnology and machine learning to improve the accuracy, reliability and density of test strips allowing them to measure multiple parameters on a single testing platform.”
The new round brings Inito’s total funding raised to date to $15 million. The startup previously raised $9 million from Y Combinator, former Nurx CEO Varsha Rao and a dozen physicians and family offices.
As for the startup’s long term roadmap, the startup believes that every human being needs access to healthcare and data about their body.
“We want to bring a variety of tests for fertility and beyond on a single device at home; empowering people with direct access to health information and fostering a better understanding of their bodies and health conditions,” AV said. “We look forward to a day where Inito will be present in every household and be as ubiquitous as a thermometer.”