LA-Based Mate Fertility Wants to Take the Price Gouging Out of Fertility Clinics

Keerthi Vedantam

Keerthi Vedantam is a bioscience reporter at dot.LA. She cut her teeth covering everything from cloud computing to 5G in San Francisco and Seattle. Before she covered tech, Keerthi reported on tribal lands and congressional policy in Washington, D.C. Connect with her on Twitter, Clubhouse (@keerthivedantam) or Signal at 408-470-0776.

LA-Based Mate Fertility Wants to Take the Price Gouging Out of Fertility Clinics
Photo by Luma Pimentel on Unsplash

Two of Mate Fertility's founders — brothers Oliver, 28, and Gabriel Bogner, 25 — intimately know about in vitro fertilization. Gabriel Bogner, who is gay, was born though IVF and Oliver's wife went through IVF to genetically screen out a gene that could pose a risk for cancer.

Both were struck by a system that favored wealthy, straight urbanites.

"A lot of the queer community has been locked out of some of these reproductive services due to some specific discriminatory policies," said Gabriel Bogner, the younger of the two.


Insurance policies sometimes require people try to conceive for a certain number of months before they're qualified to be covered, effectively making it impossible for same-sex couples or individuals to get insurance to cover fertility treatments. And clinics are notoriously costly. Of the 480 in the U.S., most are concentrated in urban centers, catering to wealthier residents, he said.

The two started Mate Fertility with Dr. Jeffrey Steinberg, an endocrinologist who studied under the doctors that conceptualized IVF, to counter that, with lower cost services and in rural and suburban areas. Mate Fertility offers egg freezing, surrogacy, genetic screening and in vitro fertilization. The Los Angeles-based startup just clinched a $2.8 million funding round led by Struck Capital. The cash will be used to add more employees and establish clinics in smaller cities, including Bakersfield.

The company joins a slew of startups in the fertility space tackling cost-prohibitive procedures. She's Well, a San Francisco-based startup, offers subscription plans for egg freezing and IVF treatments, and Stork Club is an insurance add-on for companies to make the cost of fertility treatments cheaper for employees. But Mate Fertility aims to build clinics that can operate at a lower cost.

Mate Fertility has yet to open a single clinic but has begun accepting patients in Oklahoma City, where it plans to open a center next month. Clinics are planned in South Arkansas, Anchorage, and L.A. areas including Downey, Long Beach, San Bernardino and Bakersfield.

"We've kind of gone public with our vision that we want to open 1,000 clinics in the next ten years," Oliver Bogner said.

Brothers Gabriel and Oliver Bogner created Mate Fertility to make IVF treatment cheaper and more accessible in rural areas.

Gabriel said for many families looking to conceive, there are not many low-cost options. And people often turn to these clinics at a vulnerable time in their life when they are desperate. He said clinics take advantage of this and often charge high prices.

"It allows these clinics to start price gouging," said Gabriel Bogner. "And so it makes these services extremely unaffordable because people are willing to pay a really high price to have kids when there's a really high demand for it."

It's difficult to find an average treatment cost, since insurance and external factors severely impact how much a treatment can cost, but Mate Fertility said it's $41,000, which it's aiming to bring down the average cost by 40% by subverting market expectations.

"The sad reality is more than half of all those legacy clinics are bought out by private equity firms," Oliver Bogner said. "So they do have very aggressive market expectations...none of these procedures are all that expensive to actually perform."

The company is leveraging technology to make its fertility clinics more efficient. Mate Fertility uses a custom electronic health record, or EHR, to centralize patient data and better share information. The company also has patient portals that aim to make the process of paying for treatments easier and an e-pharmacy that delivers medication.

The technology, he said, will open up access to more people.

https://twitter.com/KeerthiVedantam
keerthi@dot.la

Subscribe to our newsletter to catch every headline.

Cadence

10 TikTok Gadgets That Went Viral In 2022

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is a reporter at dot.LA. Prior to that, she was an editorial fellow at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

10 TikTok Gadgets That Went Viral In 2022

Part of TikTok’s evolution over the years includes becoming another outlet for consumers to purchase popular gadgets. The app generated $821 million in global consumer spending across the App Store and Google Play in the first quarter of 2022 alone.

And since the holiday season is among us, it’s time to get some gifts checked off your list. So here’s 10 tech gadgets that went viral on TikTok that you can buy for your loved ones.

Read moreShow less

LA Tech ‘Moves’: Disney Taps Bob Iger for CEO, Former Meta Exec Joins DeSo

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is a reporter at dot.LA. Prior to that, she was an editorial fellow at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

LA Tech ‘Moves’: Disney Taps Bob Iger for CEO, Former Meta Exec Joins DeSo
LA Tech ‘Moves’:

“Moves,” our roundup of job changes in L.A. tech, is presented by Interchange.LA, dot.LA's recruiting and career platform connecting Southern California's most exciting companies with top tech talent. Create a free Interchange.LA profile here—and if you're looking for ways to supercharge your recruiting efforts, find out more about Interchange.LA's white-glove recruiting service by emailing Sharmineh O’Farrill Lewis (sharmineh@dot.la). Please send job changes and personnel moves to moves@dot.la.

Read moreShow less

This Week in ‘Raises’: Swell Energy Lands $120M, Modyfi Draws in $8M

Decerry Donato

Decerry Donato is a reporter at dot.LA. Prior to that, she was an editorial fellow at the company. Decerry received her bachelor's degree in literary journalism from the University of California, Irvine. She continues to write stories to inform the community about issues or events that take place in the L.A. area. On the weekends, she can be found hiking in the Angeles National forest or sifting through racks at your local thrift store.

This Week in ‘Raises’: Swell Energy Lands $120M, Modyfi Draws in $8M
This Week in ‘Raises’:

As funding in Los Angeles continues to slow down, Swell Energy still managed to raise fresh funding to accelerate the company's mission to deploy 26,000 energy storage systems in homes and businesses across the United States.

Read moreShow less
RELATEDEDITOR'S PICKS
LA TECH JOBS
interchangeLA
Trending