Oula, the modern maternity clinic transforming the experience of pregnancy and childbirth, today announced that it has raised a $19.1 million Series A funding led by 8VC with participation from existing investors including Chelsea Clinton’s fund, Metrodora; the Female Founders Fund; Collaborative Fund; and Alumni Ventures. Seed investors included Great Oaks, January Ventures, Rock Health, Black Jays and individuals such as Kate Ryder of Maven Clinic, Tom Lee of One Medical, and Jonathan Bush of Athena Health. This brings Oula’s total funding to $22.3 million and underscores the urgency of rebuilding U.S. maternity care from the ground up.
Since opening their doors in February 2021, Oula is outperforming national, state, and city quality standards, including a lower rate of cesarean births and preterm deliveries. Oula reached full capacity just three months after launching their first location in Brooklyn, New York. This feat was even more remarkable considering that it took place at the peak of the pandemic, while both co-founders and Oula’s CXO were pregnant. More than 500 births later, Oula opened its second location in Manhattan, doubled their employee base in just a year, and built a clinical team without spending any capital on recruiting.
“Oula’s growth sends a simple but unmistakable message: Maternity care can and must be better,” said Kimmy Scotti, 8VC founding partner and mother of two. “Oula’s transformative approach is not only refreshing – it’s desperately needed.”
This funding will continue to advance Oula’s full-service pregnancy care that includes prenatal, delivery, and postpartum, while allowing Oula to expand its sonography capabilities as well as group support to offset the pressures of becoming a parent in America. Oula’s announcement comes at a critical moment, with U.S. maternal mortality on the rise (particularly for Black women), reproductive rights being stripped away, and parents facing mounting challenges from a shortage of affordable childcare options to lack of paid family leave.
According to the World Health Organization, increasing access to midwives is one of the most powerful ways to reduce maternal deaths, lower preterm birth and cesarean rates, and lower the cost of childcare. One study published in The Lancet found that including more midwives in healthcare systems could prevent more than 80 percent of maternal and infant deaths.
“Ask just about anyone who has been pregnant or is considering giving birth in the U.S., and it’s clear that when it comes to maternity care, the status quo isn’t serving anyone. Between miserable patient experiences, poor health outcomes, and extraordinarily high costs, there is room for improvement, to put it mildly,” said Adrianne Nickerson, co-founder and CEO of Oula. “At Oula, we are focused on providing a great experience and great outcomes for our patients. That means listening to and taking their concerns seriously, prioritizing mental health as well as physical, approaching this work through a lens of equity and inclusivity, hiring diverse and culturally competent staff, providing trauma-informed care, emphasizing the importance of postpartum care, and empowering patients to advocate for themselves,” she added.
The U.S.’s shameful maternal mortality rates are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to problems in maternity care. Compared to women in other high-income countries, women in the U.S. report the least positive experiences in healthcare and are more likely to report emotional distress. Oula was founded on the belief that improving the experience of pregnancy and childbirth will lead to better health outcomes and lower costs. This focus on experience means that Oula providers spend twice as much time with patients as regular obstetricians do. That additional time leads to deeper connections, which in turn leads to a more comprehensive understanding of a patient’s needs and makes it easier to identify potential problems early. Oula takes all major insurances, including Medicaid, which covers more than 40 percent of births in the U.S. One in five Oula patients rely on Medicaid, 54 percent of patients identify as non-white or Hispanic, and one in 10 patients are LGBTQ+.
“This funding [from primarily female investors] makes it possible to expand Oula’s care offerings to include sonography and further group support. Oula is proud to offer parents and their babies community and guidance not only up to delivery, but through ‘the fourth trimester.’ In addition to our postpartum office hours and dedicated monthly space for BIPOC patients and families, we are grateful for the ability to offer new opportunities for groups to come together to work through experiences such as pregnancy loss with the help of trained staff. Pregnancy and early parenthood can be isolating and lonely, and we view our community support offerings as a key part of our patients’ care,” said Elaine Purcell, co-founder and COO of Oula.
To learn more about Oula, or to book an appointment, please visit www.oulahealth.com. Oula is located at 109 Montague Street in Brooklyn and 202 Spring Street in Manhattan. Link to high res imagery here.
Oula is a modern maternity clinic that brings together the best of midwifery and obstetrics to deliver a personalized, evidence-based pregnancy experience so that everyone has the support they need to thrive before, during, and after birth. With our collaborative medical team, welcoming clinic, and remote care platform, we are setting a new standard for pregnancy that brings together modern medicine and human intuition. Both Co-Founders and Chief Experience Officer were pregnant during the pandemic while they raised capital and opened their first location, reaching full capacity in three months. Oula is venture-backed and has raised $22.3M to-date by investors including Chelsea Clinton’s fund, Metrodora. Oula accepts insurance, including Medicaid. Learn more at oulahealth.com.
Catherine Cuello-Fuente at [email protected]