Midi is building a digital platform for an oft-overlooked area of women’s health | TechCrunch

When Joanna Strober was about 47 years old, she stopped sleeping. While sleeplessness is a common symptom of perimenopause, she first had to go to multiple providers to get a diagnosis and proper treatment, including paying $750 out of pocket for a 45-minute drive from San Francisco.

“Wow, I’ve been suffering needlessly for the past year, that feeling really stuck with me,” Strober said in a recent episode. Found TechCrunch’s podcast, “I started talking to all my friends and trying to understand what was going on with them and what became clear is that perimenopause and menopause are a big deal. It hits women like it’s a ton of bricks. There are so many different symptoms and there are very few providers who are trained to care for this population.

That realization inspired Strober to launch Midi Health, a telehealth platform designed to serve women in midlife by connecting them with providers trained in perimenopause and menopause symptoms and treatments.

Despite her “aha” moment, Strober explained why she couldn’t launch the startup right away. He said MIDI would not exist if the U.S. government had not changed its rules regarding telehealth and people were unable to access care during the pandemic. Strober said changes related to digital health enabled the company to launch its platform, which provides care to women rather than requiring them to seek in-person care.

“Understanding that this problem that had been around for a long time could finally be addressed using telehealth was a very exciting revelation,” Strober said. “And that’s why I wanted to start this company.”

Midi works a little differently than many other digital health companies that started after the pandemic, Strober said. She said Midi is not set up as a digital avenue for users to get one-time care or treatment quickly like many other companies of the same era, but rather as a platform where women can form long-term relationships. are providers who make them feel seen.

It’s because of this approach that Strober thinks Midi has been able to move forward and raise VC funds as VCs have lost interest in the category. The company recently raised a $60 million Series B round led by Emerson Collective with participation from Google Ventures, SteelSky Ventures, and Muse Capital, among others. This round brings the company’s total funding to $99 million.

Digital health startups to raise $13.2 billion globally in 2023, according to CB Insights Data, This represents a 48% decrease from 2022, $25.5 billion, and a 75% decrease from 2021 when a record $52.7 billion was invested.

“I think very few telehealth companies haven’t thought about that long-term customer relationship,” Strober said. “We see ourselves as building a healthcare trusted brand. That’s why our brand is expert care for women. We need to take amazing care of you so that you come back to us again and again. That’s what women are doing.”

Midi is not Strober’s first digital health startup and he talked about how his previous experience building Kurbo Health, a startup focused on childhood obesity before digital health existed, influenced his choice in building Midi . He also talked about how his past life as a venture capitalist also played a role in his approach to business.

With this latest round of funding, Midi looks to expand care into areas covering perimenopause and menopause, including things like sexual wellness, hair and skin care, and access to testosterone.

“People keep asking, you know, when are you leaving perimenopause and menopause?” Strober said. “But perimenopause and menopause is a huge market. So we’re doing a lot of work on understanding what the health needs of women are during this period of life and how we can appropriately meet those concerns.