Investing in Jack Fertility—D2C male fertility testing


Investing in Jack Fertility—D2C male fertility testing

Words Founders Factory

August 7th 2023 / 3 min read

The problem

Male fertility testing has grown massively in demand and popularity. 

One in six couples have issues with fertility, which are equally likely to be due to male or female factors. Globally, sperm quality is rapidly decreasing, so much so that WHO has declared it a “public health crisis”. 

But current male fertility testing options are uncomfortable, inconvenient, and often deter individuals with sperm from seeking them out. Despite the increasing need for accurate and accessible testing, most people with fertility concerns avoid these tests unless absolutely necessary. In-person clinic visits for lab analyses are expensive, clinical, and emotionally challenging for patients. 

At-home testing options have gained popularity (71% would be more likely to test if they could do so at home), but they face logistical challenges, lack comprehensive parameters, and often lack adequate customer support and counselling.

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The solution

Jack Fertility is pioneering a new male fertility test that addresses the shortcomings of current testing solutions. Their innovative mail-in testing kit enables individuals to test their fertility conveniently from the comfort of their homes while receiving lab-grade results across five key markers: volume, concentration, motility, morphology, and count. 

The Jack Fertility kit includes a pre-screening survey, a proprietary preservation solution that maintains sample integrity for up to 72 hours, and personalised result pathways based on test results. The digital platform provides users with online access to their results and recommendations for next steps.

The team

Lily Elsner (CEO & co-founder)

Lily's career has spanned biotech, startups, law, and banking.  A health policy internship in Washington DC at the US Department of Health and Human Services during her undergrad at Wellesley College ignited her interest in healthcare. After a number of strategy and operations roles including in M&A at Shearman & Sterling LLP and data analytics at a top US consumer bank, she returned to her scientific roots to become Head of Strategy at a seed stage AI drug discovery company after her MBA at Oxford. 

Nick Shipley (CCO & Co-founder)

Nick's career experience sits firmly in the consumer marketing space. After a brief stint as a British diplomat in China, he specialised in consumer insights and branding at CPG giants including Nestlé, Kraft Heinz, and Imperial Tobacco, guiding some of the world's most iconic "taboo" brands in tobacco, coffee, and fast food in multiple markets. His personal experience of fatherhood, and his concerns for his children's future if male fertility continues to decline, drew him to male fertility testing.

Maryam Rahbar (Scientific Adviser)

Maryam brings deep expertise in the embryology and fertility space. During her biology undergraduate degree in Canada, she trained and qualified as a junior andrologist and embryologist, paving the way for her academic and clinical work. She completed both her PhD in reproductive medicine and MSc in clinical embryology at the University of Oxford, and has conducted thousands of sperm tests.

Why we’re excited to invest

Claire Mongeau, investor at Founders Factory, says: “We're thrilled to invest in Jack Fertility, providing comprehensive, convenient and empowering at-home sperm testing and fertility support services. As sperm counts are decreasing at rapid rates around the globe, Lily and Nick have invented a better way to make sure people with sperm can easily test their fertility through the post, receive personalised recommendations and support to improve sperm health, and take control of their health in the long run. We are excited to work with the team as they seek to become the 23andme of sperm and transform sperm health discussions worldwide.”

What Jack Fertility wants to get out of the programme

  • Reckitt's drive to build a healthier world aligns directly with Jack Fertility’s core mission to develop this product and service to empower people with sperm, while alleviating the burden on women in the fertility journey. As such, the team seeks commercial and advisory partnerships to further the mission

  • The Founders Factory family gives us unparalleled access to the UK’s premier ecosystem of those who are similarly motivated in the consumer healthcare space from product development to commercialization

Building a category-defining consumer health business?

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