Vira Health, a digital health company focused on improving long-term health for women, has raised £1.5 million in seed funding.
Founded in 2020 by Andrea Berchowitz and Rebecca Love, its mission is to make high-quality personalised menopause care accessible to all women. Their ultimate vision is to improve healthy life expectancy for women by reducing the prevalence of later life conditions such as osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and dementia.
Stella, the first product from Vira Health, a personalised app for menopause relief, has launched today and will be available on iOS next week.
The funding comes from LocalGlobe and MMC Ventures, plus angel investors including Megumi Ikeda, MD at Hearst Ventures, Andrea Zitna of Elvie, former Spotify executive Sofia Bendz, founder of GoCardless Matt Robinson and Simon Lambert, former CTO, MOO.com, and Treatwell.
Stella supports women through personalised menopause treatment plans rooted in scientific research and the ability to talk to a trained coach for support. Each woman using Stella gets a personalised treatment plan based on her specific symptoms.
For example, if she is dealing with sleep disturbances and urinary incontinence, her Stella plan would combine cognitive behavioural therapy, pelvic floor exercises and other guidance related to lifestyle and behaviour change. Plans are 12 weeks, giving users time to learn, practice and embed new habits.
In addition to the treatment plans, the Stella platform has articles, recipes, mindfulness meditations, exercise suggestions and access to virtual events such as yoga classes or a Q&A with a gynaecologist.
“At Vira, our vision is to fundamentally transform long term health and wellbeing for women,” said Berchowitz. “We believe better menopause care is the first step.
“Female health issues have historically been under-researched and under-invested, and this remains the case today. There is an opportunity to use technology to redress this balance by improving the collection and use of female data in healthcare.
“This first round of seed funding is a step towards realising our vision.”
Dr Love added: “Menopause is a time point in a woman’s life where you can fundamentally change the trajectory of her lifelong health. It seems outrageous that we have not been focusing on this before.
“Stella is about getting women the relief and support they need for immediate symptoms like sleep issues, incontinence, mood swings, hot flushes and many others as well as setting them up for the best brain, bone and heart health in later life.
“Every woman’s menopausal experience is different. The symptoms she deals with are unique and fluctuate, she has her own preferences around treatments.
“What most women seem to have in common is that there is never enough time. A digital solution that is personalised to her symptoms and brings high quality specialist advice such as pelvic floor physiotherapy, cognitive behavioural therapy and nutrition guidance to her on her own device and own time is critical to her finding relief.”