Vira Health, the company behind menopause app Stella, has raised £9.2 million in new funding to improve women’s long-term health. 

The latest financing from Octopus Ventures and US VC Optum Ventures builds on a previous $2m funding round that drew investment from LocalGlobe, MMC and Amino Collective among others.

The new investment will support growth of the Stella app in the US market, clinical trials and the addition of medication and telemedicine. 

“Better menopause care is crucial in the fight for gender equity in the workplace,” said Andrea Berchowitz, co-founder and chief executive officer of Vira Health. 

“The Stella app offers women a highly personalised, completely private and always-on treatment option. It is designed for a diversity of companies wanting to expand their employee benefit schemes. Our focus is onboarding more employers to Stella this year.”

Stella is the first digital therapy product from Vira Health and was launched in the UK in 2021. It supports women by offering personalised menopause treatment plans based on their specific symptoms. 

Stella combines complex guidance around lifestyle and behaviour change into simple, easy-to-follow weekly lessons. It offers the ability to interact with trained experts and a range of additional resources, including guided meditations, educational materials, exercises, recipes, and online classes.

“Menopause is an enormous yet underserved and underfunded market,” said Kamran Adle, health investor at Octopus Ventures. “1 billion women, or approximately 12% of the global population, are expected to experience menopause by 2025, and we’re excited to work with the Vira Health team.”

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Vira Health says many workplaces showed an increase of menopause support in 2020, writing new menopause policies, nominating ‘menopause champions’ to signpost employees to information and resources, and improving the cut and fabric of uniforms. 

The startup is focused on making Stella available to more women through employer benefits in 2022.

“Menopause is a time point in a woman’s life where we can fundamentally change the trajectory of lifelong health,” said Dr Rebecca Love, co-founder of Vira Health. 

“It is outrageous that we have not focused on menopause care more. Stella provides women the relief and support they need for symptoms such as sleep issues, incontinence, mood swings, hot flushes and many others, and helps set women up for better brain, bone and heart health in later life.”