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Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

AiVF raked $25m in Series A funding led by Insight Partners and the family office of former WeWork CEO Adam Neumann, the Tel Aviv-based fertility care startup said exclusively to Sarah.

Why is this important: IVF clinics are struggling to keep up with growing demand as the industry faces a shortage of embryologists and high variability in success rates.

  • AiVF’s software allows embryologists to standardize and speed up processes through fertility intelligence, boasting to shorten time to pregnancy and improve predictability.
  • The funding gives AiVF the financial means to enter the United States (where it is currently seeking FDA approval) and further its adoption across Europe.

State of play: IVF has always been based on subjective human analysis, with old-fashioned and expensive technology, says Daniella Gilboa, an embryologist who co-founded AiVF in 2018 alongside IVF specialist Daniel Seidman.

  • Without technology, she says, “there’s no way [IVF clinics] can ever evolve” to solve today’s access problem. “We call it the AI-human team.”
  • Gilboa’s ultimate vision? Revolutionize fertility care so that today’s difficult and time-consuming IVF experience becomes “quick and easy”.

How it works: AiVF uses machine learning to assess embryos during IVF, guiding embryologists in identifying and selecting what they believe to be the most promising embryos for a healthy pregnancy.

  • Its AI is based on what it says are the largest and most diverse clinical datasets in the world – the latter in terms of age, infertility types, ethnicity and geography. This contrasts with what is typically a heavy reliance of datasets on rich, white demographics.
  • The system is currently assisting 15 ongoing pregnancies and will soon be delivering the first, says Gilboa.

To note : Renowned academic Dan Ariely is the behavior manager of AiVF.

The context: Venture capitalists are flooding fertility technologies due to multiple factors: the desire to have children later in life, employers’ emphasis on workplace benefits, and growing recognition that reproductive well-being is crucial to health care in general.