Millie, a new kind of maternity clinic, “built by moms and care providers who’ve been there,” is reimagining the standard of maternity care in the United States. The brand today announces the closure of an oversubscribed and female-powered $4M seed fundraising round, led by TMV Ventures & BBG Ventures with participation from Venn Growth Partners, Looking Glass Capital, Learn Capital, Hustle Fund and other top-tier investors including Turner Novak, Michelle Kennedy of Peanut, and Tristan Walker of Walker & Company. On September 26th, Millie will also open its premiere physical clinic next to the Alta Bates Campus in Berkeley, CA to kickstart the expansion of its broad-based services and repair a fragmented maternity care system nationwide.
Millie offers a 360-degree care approach that guides people from 48 hours after a positive pregnancy test to one year postpartum with a collaborative, patient-centered team that supports individuals’ entire pregnancy journeys. While most birthing people are made to choose between and OB-GYN or a midwife, Millie pairs the patient with a care force comprised of an OB-GYN, a midwife, and a doula, ensuring individuals are wholly supported through the physical, mental, emotional, and social changes experienced during pregnancy and parenthood.
Created by birthing people, for birthing people, Millie is co-founded by Anu Sharma (Chief Executive Officer), Talia Borgo (Clinical Director), and Sarah Reynolds (Chief Technical Officer), with clinical leadership from Amy Kane (Medical Director & OB-GYN).
Sharma possesses more than 15 years of experience in healthcare innovation, having worked with some of the largest healthcare industry players on major strategy and operational issues, but her personal encounter with the inadequate U.S. maternity care system was a turning point. “I had endured an induction, over two days of labor, and an unplanned C-section with near-hemorrhage and, while this was the definition of a high-risk delivery, I was sent home with ‘standard’ care instructions to see my OB in six weeks. That resulted in a near miss,” says Sharma. “I spoke with Talia, my midwife at the time, and asked her, ‘If you could provide care the way you know people need, what would that look like?’ Today, I’m proud to say that we’re providing that level of attentive care through Millie.”
Features within that level of care include proactive and well-rounded medical insight, comprehensive knowledge of the patient’s needs, accessible services extended by 21st century technology, and a close-knit expert team who tends to every facet of one’s pregnancy to achieve the best possible outcome. Millie’s services are amplified through its digital app which provides around-the-clock messaging with providers and a social network. The app-enabled technology also gives Millie patients mental health support, nutrition counseling, lactation support and digital health checks. In addition to virtual and in-clinic monitoring, Millie also provides patients with at-home monitoring tools, such as blood pressure cuffs, to promote early detection of complications and, rather than the national standard of one visit with a clinician at six weeks postpartum, Millie offers three visits, the first of which happens at the patient’s home within one week postpartum.
“We are delighted to support Millie in improving maternity experiences nationwide,” says Soraya Darabi, General Partner and Founder of TMV. “Working with a mission-driven brand that is making personalized, dignified care a pillar of its philosophy has been a gratifying opportunity, and one that we’re pleased to watch expand even further.”
“A new generation of American mothers is demanding more convenient, personalized, and supported care,” says Nisha Dua, Managing Partner and Co-Founder of BBG Ventures. “We’re proud to back Millie in its bid to drive better and more empowered outcomes for birthing parents.”
In the U.S., most birthing people visit OB-GYNs, high-risk surgical specialists who focus mostly on medical interventions, and treatments, with less time for patient education and one-on-one care. Alternatively, midwives are trained to provide a wide range of services, including pregnancy management, childbirth support, and postpartum care. America currently has the lowest overall supply of midwives and OB-GYNs: 12 and 15 providers per 1,000 live births, compared to other countries with levels two to six times greater, making Millie’s standard of a full-spectrum OB-GYN/midwifery model a crucial revolution in maternal health.
Recent findings from the Commonwealth Fund show there were 17 maternal deaths for every 100,000 live births in the U.S. — a staggering ratio more than double that of most other high-income countries. Additionally, a 2019 study found that annual maternal morbidity from conception through age five resulted in a projected cost of $32.3 billion. Improving these outcomes has been a key focus for Millie, and true to their mission of bringing humanity back to reproductive care, Sharma, Kane, and Borgo have been honored to provide input on the White House’s Blueprint for Addressing the Maternal Health Crisis, an approach to combating maternal mortality, and working toward a future where the United States will be the “best country in the world to have a baby.”
Further, Millie recognizes not every pregnancy results in a birth, and is committed to increasing access to medical abortion care during a crucial time for reproductive rights in the U.S..
“As moms and healthcare professionals, we know firsthand the incomplete, reactive, and often over-medicalized treatment in the U.S. that leaves mothers, birthing people, and their babies very vulnerable — creating some of the worst outcomes in the high-income world,” says Borgo. “Through our acceptance of most major insurance plans and an ecosystem of culturally competent care providers that span specialties, we are committed to removing as many barriers as we can and bring humanity back to reproductive care.
“I was born at Alta Bates, so it’s been a full-circle experience to work alongside Anu and Talia to build the foundation of future-shaping care right here in Berkeley,” says Kane. “There is no doubt that Millie will be the blueprint for comprehensive maternity care nationwide. We are thrilled to provide patient-first services and make a special time in one’s life even more extraordinary.”
The Millie clinic will be open from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM PST Monday through Friday as the company plans to open additional locations. Virtual care services are currently available for booking. For more information, please visit www.millieclinic.com