Education, Health, and Safety

EXCLUSIVE: The parent company of home-health testing brand Everlywell is buying Natalist, a reproductive health startup

  • Everly Health, the parent company of Everlywell, is buying reproductive health startup, Natalist.
  • It's the third acquisition Everly Health, reportedly valued at $2.9 billion, has made this year.
  • It marks a greater push into both women's health and retail products for the testing-kit company.

Julia Cheek and Halle Tecco have a long history. The two attended business school together, and Cheek, the founder and CEO of Everly Health, was an early investor in Tecco's reproductive-health startup, Natalist.

Now their business bond is even tighter. Everly Health, the parent company of health-testing kit brand Everlywell, is acquiring Natalist, Cheek and Natalist CEO Vernita Brown told Insider exclusively. Natalist will remain as its own brand alongside Everlywell, and its team of eight will join Everly Health.

The two companies did not disclose terms of the all-cash deal.

“We have long desired to be really a one-stop shop for women, and this just gives us the opportunity to truly do that in a meaningful way,” Brown said.

Though Everly Health's products target a broad group of consumers, about three-fourths of its customers are women, Cheek said. So it's been looking to expand its offerings in women's health, which include tests for fertility, menopause, and sexually transmitted infections. Natalist sells products such as pregnancy and ovulation tests, prenatal supplements, and family planning guides.

It's the third acquisition this year for Everly Health, which acquired PWNHealth, now known as Everly Health Solutions, and Home Access Health Corporation, now called EverlyDx, in March. Those deals reportedly pushed the company's valuation to $2.9 billion, according to Bloomberg. The company has raised nearly $325 million in funding.

Everly Health has invested in pursuing more possible acquisitions, Cheek said, in part by hiring Kristina Omari as its executive vice president of finance. She was previously Lyft's vice president of corporate development.

“As we look across the space, it's not only the moment for

digital health

adoption, it's not only the moment for diagnostics, but you're also seeing this explosion of funding and capital into this space,” Cheek said. “And so we will continue to be opportunistic, where it makes sense strategically, for M&A.”

On the other hand, Natalist, which launched in 2019, has mostly grown organically.

Upon its launch, the startup raised $5 million from investors including Cowboy Ventures, Xfund, and Rock Health, the digital-health advisory and VC firm Tecco previously cofounded. Its sales have ramped up significantly, Brown told Insider, as its products expanded to more than 5,000 store locations from just 300 a year ago.

The company has leaned on social media outreach to build a rapport with its customers and develop a trusted voice, Brown added.

“We've just kind of taken this approach of, ‘We get you, we've been there,' that I think has really resonated with many women,” she said.

The deal marks a further milestone for women's health startups, following the acquisition of Modern Fertility by Ro earlier this year. According to Rock Health, out of the 1,200 digital-health startups that have been acquired since 2011, just 30 of them were led by women. Even fewer have been led by Black women such as Brown.

“We are really part of a growing group of VCs and founders that are women, who are really creating the new women's club,” Cheek said. “I'm proud to be able to be just a small piece.”

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