Fast-growing fertility start-up raises £1m to develop digital platform

Dr Kobi McCardle and Dr Lucy Buckley

North West-focused Praetura Ventures is backing fertility start-up Dr Fertility in a £1m seed round.

The first investment of Praetura’s maiden EIS Fund will be used to develop Manchester-based Dr Fertility into a full-service digital health platform.

Founded by Dr Lucy Buckley, PhD and Kobi McCardle in June 2018, Dr Fertility was created to address the problem of conflicting, unreliable information about fertility.

With patients having to wait up to two years between GP advice and the first outpatient appointment, and no central, official platform for fertility advice, Lucy and Kobi saw the need to support the one in 7 couples in the UK that are affected by infertility.

Dr Fertility is designed to help couples navigate the enormous complexity of fertility, not least the substantial emotional aspect, with the view of becoming a one-stop-shop for everything people might need throughout their fertility journey.

The investment will enable Dr Fertility to achieve this goal through technological upgrades and key hires.

Knowing that fertility requires a combination of approaches, Dr Fertility is developing a digital platform to provide much-needed authoritative and personalised advice through products, services and consultancy.

As the Spinningfields business undergoes rapid growth, with revenue expected to double year-on-year, Praetura Ventures will be a key partner in Dr Fertility’s development.

As well providing 90% of the seed investment through its recently announced £15m EIS fund, Praetura Ventures will help the start-up manage its financial, cash and recruitment strategy as it quickly grows its goods and services.

Praetura Ventures will also contribute its experience in implementing tech roadmaps as Dr Fertility develops its digital platform, alongside board-level digital marketing support.

National law firm Gateley advised Praetura on the investment, providing legal support and guidance.

Legal support for Dr Fertility was provided by Simon Wallwork (partner) and Janet Robinson (associate), from Manchester-based law firm Slater Heelis.

Dr Lucy Buckley said: “At Dr Fertility we are passionate about using our backgrounds in healthcare, ecommerce and marketing to provide a one-stop destination to support people on their fertility journey.

“We work with leading experts to develop fertility education and offer quality products to help people to better understand their own fertility and educate them on the positive steps they can take.

“Our vision is to build the world-leading digital health platform for fertility, offering an end-to-end solution to help support people wherever they are on their journey.

“With the backing of Praetura Ventures and our Angel investor, we’re looking forward to making our platform scalable so we can reach as many people around the world as possible.”

Guy Weaver, director at Praetura Ventures, said: “Dr Fertility’s ambition has impressed us since day one.

“They’ve already grown so much in the short time they’ve been operating, which shows us they’re gaining a lot of momentum.

“With their unique proposition in a growing market we’re confident we’re going to see great things from Lucy, Kobi and their growing team.”