“I just don’t know what’s going on.” It’s a phrase that many women have said to themselves when it comes to their health – either in the doctor’s office, after a misdiagnosis or a failed treatment, or just at home – confused and without answers.
While significant strides have been made in healthcare over the last two decades, women’s health is still playing catch up. The gender data gap that has historically persisted for women is one reason why women’s healthcare options lag behind. More than 30 years ago, the National Institute of Health reported that “the historical lack of research focused on women’s health concerns has compromised the quality of health information available to women as well as the health care they receive.” It wasn’t until 1993 that women were finally required to be included in clinical trials.
The insufficient inclusion of women in research leads to longer waits for a diagnosis, higher probability of a misdiagnosis, and a shallow understanding of the female body.
At General Catalyst, we invest in companies who share our goal of improving the quality of healthcare to everyone by empowering consumers with technology and experiences that both inform and delight, while honoring privacy and protecting data. Which is why we’re proud to invest in Evvy, a company that is working to empower women and people with vaginas with detailed information about their bodies, while building critical datasets that can enable more effective prediction, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases in females. In meeting with founders Priyanka, Laine, and Pita, we were thoroughly impressed with their bold approach, their grit, and their empathy.
Evvy starts with addressing an acute, persistent, and under-addressed issue the majority of women will face at least once in their lifetimes: vaginal infections. More than 30% of women will get bacterial vaginosis at some point in their lifetime, 75% will get a yeast infection, and 50% will get a UTI. Yet these infections are often misdiagnosed and treated in isolation. Evvy’s metagenomics at-home test provides higher sequencing accuracy than PCR tests commonly used in a doctor’s office, enabling a personalized platform of unique and detailed insights into what’s up down there, why it matters, and what they can do about it.
Simultaneously, a growing library of research shows the vaginal microbiome can be linked to long-term negative health issues, such as STIs, preterm births, and infertility. Evvy will give women access to data about their bodies and help them make decisions about their health – including preventive care. And the microbiome test is just the beginning – the company is already looking at other biomarkers, datasets, and products that will help close the gap in understanding, diagnosing and treating the unique health needs of the female body.
With this round of funding, Margo Georgiadis, Executive-in-Residence at General Catalyst and former President and CEO of Ancestry, will join Evvy’s board. We are incredibly proud to be partnering with these extraordinary female founders to break down boundaries in women’s health.