Years of hope and heartache — and a bill for $270k.
When Gurjeet Singh spoke to an acquaintance who had gone through IVF, he was shocked by what he heard. Not only did this couple endure six cycles of IVF without success, they paid $45,000 for each cycle. By the end, they had to file for personal bankruptcy.
Even more shocking was that, in the U.S., this is a familiar story for many couples. Even for those with the rare insurance that covers fertility treatment, there are deductibles and co-insurance costs — plus hoops to jump through. Some companies only cover IVF once a couple has undergone half a dozen failed IUI treatments first. The toll is as much emotional as it is financial.
Gurjeet teamed up with his friends Sahil and Kiran to dig deeper into this. Sahil, who is a physician by training, was founder and CEO of a large chain of fertility clinics in India. Kiran was founder and former CEO of a tech-based elder care AI company. Sahil invited them to visit his IVF labs where they had a breakthrough: the equipment and methods used for IVF have hardly evolved over the past three decades - the tech had so much room for advancement. Improving the tech held the promise of reducing the number of cycles it took to succeed with IVF. Gurjeet, who had just sold the AI-based company he founded, and Kiran knew that today’s AI could address this.
Together they set a big goal: to improve the outcomes for more families facing fertility issues. The founders believe this can be done by ensuring families go through as few cycles as possible by inventing new technology, by providing a better overall experience, and by making fertility care accessible to more people.
And so Oma was born.
There’s been too little innovation in the fertility space over the past 30 years compared to the increasing infertility rates. Oma Fertility exists to improve the outcomes for more families facing fertility issues. We believe in a world in which everyone seeking to have a child can access the most advanced fertility treatments.
The Oma team decided that, to improve fertility treatment outcomes in the U.S., they wanted to start with a crucial but often-ignored piece of the puzzle: sperm.
The pressure of infertility is most often felt by women. 40-50% of fertility issues are due to male factor infertility and studies¹ have shown that choosing promising sperm increases the odds of a successful pregnancy.
Only ~4% of the sperm cells in a healthy male sample are morphologically normal and motile², so the chances of picking an abnormal cell at random are high. So how do you pick the most promising of the 4% — especially when they’re one of the smallest cells in the body and move in a sample of 100 million cells?
Usually, it’s done manually, with an embryologist visually tracking the most promising sperm long enough to grade, immobilize, and select them.
At Oma, it’s done with our proprietary AI microscope and Oma Sperm InSight™, our AI technology that identifies the most promising sperm. Together, they help embryologists analyze 20x more sperm cells than a traditional microscope can in the same amount of time, automatically tagging them based on criteria from the World Health Organization.LEARN MORE about the science
40-50% of infertility cases are due to male factors
Only 4% of sperm cells in a healthy sample are morphologically normal and motile
Sperm concentration declined 50%-60% from 1973 to 2011³
Gurjeet Singh had previously founded Ayasdi, an AI based enterprise software platform where he served as CEO. He has also served as a Technical Advisory Board member for HSBC and holds a PhD in Computational Math from Stanford.
Sahil Gupta founded and opened Aveya, a chain of eight clinics in India/Nepal doing 6,000 cycles per year, serving as CEO. He graduated from Harvard with a degree in General Management and earned a MBBS from Safdarjung, India.
Kiran Joshi earned his PhD in Electrical Engineering from Stanford. He founded and previously was the CEO at Totemic, a Y Combinator S17 Batch company, where he led technology operations for the radar-based elder care company. Prior to that, he was a Senior Staff Engineer in signal processing at Marvell Semi.