Startups often struggle to get the exact domain they want, resorting to alternative spellings and other top level domains (think .io, .ai, or .dev) to stand out online. But babyfever.com had yet to be claimed…and it was exactly what Stevenson needed.
BabyFever is a startup platform for people navigating their family building journeys. The goal is to be an inclusive digital space for parents-to-be who come from all walks of life. That means helping people match with vetted resources for adoption, surrogacy, IVF, egg donations, egg freezing, and sperm donation processes.
It is all about helping people navigate the isolating – and often expensive – “path to parenthood,” said Stevenson. The early-stage platform is also building out a community forum to help soon-to-be parents connect with others going through similar stages of life.
“There’s a range of different parenting types,” added Stevenson, as the platform has attracted heterosexual couples, LGBTQIA couples, and those looking to parent by themselves through adoption or surrogacy.
BabyFever’s two co-founders have professional backgrounds in pharmacy but ended up in the startup world after their individual experiences trying to become parents. Stevenson told Hypepotamus that he caught ‘baby fever’ and he was ready to start a family. While doing research on becoming a single father by choice, he started looking into fertility clinics, egg donation centers, and places to find the best surrogate. But Stevenson soon realized there wasn’t a central digital location to find all the family building information he needed, which added another layer of complexity to the parenthood process.
“I always wanted to have a child and I was really open minded to how that was going to happen,” he told Hypepotamus. When he decided to become a single father by choice last year, he needed to work through his own fertility problems, find the right egg donor, and search for the best surrogate .
Co-founder Cameron Brown also had his own experiences with infertility on the road to parenthood which opened his eyes to how difficult the process can be.
“I realized that there’s so many different sources of information out there. There’s a lot of disinformation, and there are a lot of people who are afraid to talk about fertility and talk about their journey,” Brown said. “Because I went through [this], I wanted to create this platform to put [information] together..and let people know they’re not alone.”
ADDRESSING A GLOBAL ISSUE
Stevenson and Brown are not alone in sharing stories around the difficult path to parenthood. 17.5% of people worldwide struggle with infertility issues, according to a recent report from the World Health Organization (WHO).
“Infertility does not discriminate,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General at WHO, in a press statement. “The sheer proportion of people affected show the need to widen access to fertility care and ensure this issue is no longer sidelined in health research and policy, so that safe, effective, and affordable ways to attain parenthood are available for those who seek it.”
Venture capital sees this as a growing opportunity for innovation.
Fertility-focused technology startups saw $854.5 million in investment in 2022, according to available Pitchbook data. That number was just $134 million a decade ago.
BabyFever is looking to capitalize on that global opportunity while building in its home base of Atlanta.
The startup’s next move will take them to ATDC and its Accelerate Program, a program for early-stage startups. The team says they will look to grow as a fintech and healthtech platform while within ATDC, with Greg Jungles and Robert Daniel as advisors.
The ultimate goal is to create a review system so that people can get a better sense of how a clinic or a specific doctor will fit their needs. To get off the ground, the startup is piloting a subscription service and revenue sharing program with providers.
The team is also co-hosting a statewide Reproductive and Maternal Health Justice Summit in conjunction with Morehouse School of Medicine and the Cade Foundation this September and they plan to host a National BabyFever Conference in Atlanta in 2024.