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Meet the startup tackling fertility head-on: Gaia





By 2030, the IVF (in Vitro Fertilisation) will be valued at 37 billion USD globally! Fertility and the reproductive health of women around the globe is being paid more attention to - with founders finding ways to bring better health to millions. GAIA Family is a start-up focused on revolutionising the way individuals and families approach fertility treatments, particularly IVF (In Vitro Fertilisation). Founded in 2019 by Nader AlSalim, the platform aims to reduce the risk involved in the IVF process through personalised insurance and payment plans, addressing both the emotional and financial challenges associated with fertility treatments.



Written by: Anush Jayakumaran

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Origins built on personal experiences





Nader AlSalim, the founder, and CEO of GAIA Family, has an intriguing and multi-faceted background that significantly influenced the creation of his start-up. Prior to embarking on his entrepreneurial journey with GAIA, AlSalim found himself working in the world of investment banking at Goldman Sachs for 8 years. His transition from finance to healthcare technology, specifically within the fertility space, was not a path he initially set out to pursue. Instead, it was born from his and his wife's personal struggles with IVF treatments, which were emotionally, physically, and financially challenging​.

 

This background in finance gave him a robust foundation in risk analysis and financial planning, skills that would prove invaluable in addressing the unpredictability and high costs associated with IVF treatments. AlSalim and his wife underwent several IVF cycles, experiencing the financial and emotional toll these treatments can have on couples. After spending over £50,000 and going through a demanding process that spanned multiple countries and clinics, they were blessed with a child. Through this long and arduous journey, AlSalim became aware of the gaps in the fertility treatment sector, especially regarding financial transparency and support for couples undergoing IVF.

 

AlSalim's transition from investment banking to entrepreneurship was driven by a desire to use his professional skills and personal experiences to make a tangible difference in people's lives. He saw an opportunity to apply his risk analysis expertise to the IVF process, aiming to take the guesswork out of getting pregnant through IVF and improve financial planning around it. Despite having no initial aspirations to become an entrepreneur, his first-hand experience with the IVF process's pain points motivated him to tackle these challenges head-on!

 

AlSalim is deeply committed to changing the narrative around fertility, emphasising that it is not just a woman's issue but a family issue. With a strong belief in creating a more equitable access to fertility care, making it financially accessible and less emotionally taxing for individuals and couples dreaming of starting a family. His work with GAIA Family stands as a testament to his vision of combining a for-profit model with a mission-driven approach to address a significant healthcare issue.







A PRODUCT WITH INCLUSIVITY AT ITS CORE

 

With the mission to bridge the gap between the desire for parenthood and the financial accessibility of fertility treatments, GAIA Family offer several products and services. Recognizing that IVF can be prohibitively expensive and emotionally taxing GAIA aims to alleviate the financial burden and uncertainty associated with IVF. The service is designed to support a diverse range of hopeful parents, including same-sex couples, heterosexual couples, single women, and single men, reflecting a comprehensive understanding of modern family-building needs.

 

Let’s look at their financial model first. Starting with a protection fee, this fee is tailored based on personal details, the chosen clinic, and the type of treatment planned. It can be paid in a single payment or spread into interest-free monthly payments. Following this, GAIA uses predictive technology to offer personalised insurance products and payment plans. This approach is based on analysing patient information against data from previous IVF patients to provide a customised prediction of IVF success rates and associated costs. If the treatment does not result in a live birth after a predetermined number of cycles, GAIA ensures that the hopeful parents are not financially overwhelmed. This model provides a safety net, reducing the financial risk involved in pursuing fertility treatments.

 

At the heart of GAIA’s service is its predictive technology platform, which uses clinical data sets to predict the number of IVF cycles a couple might need, alongside identifying the best clinics for their specific treatment. This platform, named Gabi, leverages AI and machine learning to analyse vast amounts of past fertility data, resulting in a model that can provide predictions based on recordable variables. Gabi provides personalised predictions by understanding a patient's unique fertility profile, from which GAIA can provide personalised predictions of success, which informs the development of tailored financial plans. From here, GAIA helps match hopeful parents with clinics that have the best success rates for their specific needs, optimizing the chances of a successful outcome.

 

In addition to the impressive technology and services provided, GAIA family places a large emphasis on support and community! Offering several services to ensure that families are not overwhelmed and have the right environment and support to push through and challenges they may face. GAIA Family offer Counselling Services, where the emotional challenges of fertility treatments are recognised and access to counselling services to support mental and emotional well-being and provided. Additionally, GAIA Family provides nutritional and lifestyle guidance. Members have access to nutritional support and lifestyle guidance to improve their overall health and potentially increase the success rates of treatments. Alongside this, GAIA facilitates access to a community of experts and fellow members, providing a platform for sharing experiences and support. Through its platform, GAIA offers curated information to help demystify the IVF process, including guides on understanding fertility, planning for treatment, and managing costs.





 

They are not alone in this area though...

 

Though GAIA Family are revolutionising the IVF industry, they’re not the first to do it. Companies such as Future Family, Hertility, Progyny, and Kindbody are strong competitors to GAIA Family.

 




Future family simplifies the process of paying for fertility treatments by offering loans specifically designed for this purpose. Their financial products include IVF and egg freezing loans, making it easier for individuals and couples to manage the costs of treatments. Additionally, they provide a unique offering of fertility coaching services to support their clients through the treatment process.





Hertility Health is a femtech company that has emerged as a notable player in the field of reproductive health. While not directly competing in the same space as GAIA Family, which focuses on financing IVF treatments, Hertility occupies a unique position by offering health assessments and support cantered around women's hormonal health and fertility. With core services such as: Hormonal and Reproductive Health Testing, Personalised Reports and Health Insights, and Consultations with Health Experts.

 




Progyny provides fertility benefits for employees through employer-sponsored health plans. Their comprehensive coverage includes everything from IVF and egg freezing to adoption assistance, aiming to make a wide range of fertility services more accessible. Progyny's approach is to partner with employers to offer these benefits as part of an employee's health package, emphasising not just financial support but also access to high-quality fertility clinics and personalized care navigation.

 




Kindbody offers a direct-to-consumer approach, providing fertility and family-building services through their own clinics and mobile clinics. Their services range from fertility assessments and egg freezing to IVF and gynaecological care, aiming to provide a more integrated and patient-friendly experience. Kindbody also partners with employers to offer fertility benefits, positioning itself as both a service provider and a partner in fertility care benefits.






GAIA Family has become a reputable company that tackles the gaps in the healthcare industry. With a respectable mission to deliver transparent IVF treatment, both procedurally and financially, to thousands of families irrespective of their background, with such a noble cause, we’re sure you can agree GAIA Family, along with their competitors, are changing the healthcare industry for the better!


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