January 30, 2024

Announcing our $2.4M pre-seed

Today, I'm excited to announce our $2.4M pre-seed round led by Cake VC and Cornerstone VC alongside participation from Zeal Capital Partners and others...

By Fifi Kara

Today I’m incredibly excited to announce Aster’s $2.4M pre-seed led by Cake Ventures and Cornerstone VC, with participation from Zeal Capital Partners (BBFI), Octopus Ventures (FCF), Sterling Road, Blueprint & Everywhere Ventures alongside select founders and senior operators from Vitable Health, Komodo Health, Meta, Google and more. 

Aster’s technology enables women’s health practices to manage, grow and scale their practices. Our solution improves clinical outcomes and enables practices to remain competitive and independent in the ever-changing landscape of healthcare. Aster’s initial focus is on maternal health providers across the U.S. 

Where we’re featured:

The problem: Women’s healthcare outcomes, especially during childbirth, are getting worse

For many families, the experience of pregnancy and birth in the U.S. can be  traumatic. Many reading this will be personally familiar with a pregnancy that had less than favorable outcomes. The sad reality is that the CDC reports that up to 80% of all pregnancy complications leading to maternal death are completely avoidable; the result of women being ignored or having little to no support during the pregnancy and postpartum period. As a result, the U.S now has the highest rate of maternal mortality amongst wealthy nations. 

The landscape of maternal healthcare is too fragmented to address the problem

The COVID-19 pandemic brought a drastic rise in at-home testing and a rise in assistive care providers such as midwives and doulas working alongside traditional Obstetrics & Gynecology services. On the technology side, we’ve seen a huge number of developments to support patients throughout their maternal health journey,from medical devices to free-standing clinics and point-solutions for specific conditions such as gestational diabetes. The developments are happening alongside significant policy change at a national level, which in isolation are positive, but, when combined with an already scattered landscape just further adds to the disconnect between patients, providers and positive outcomes. 

Our solution: Unify the tech stack and create and end-to-end system of care

We believe the only way to reverse the decades-long downward trajectory of women's health outcomes is to re-design, and rebuild the underlying stack that powers women’s health.

At Aster we are addressing the full cycle of maternal care from conception to delivery to post-partum. Instead of the increasing fragmentation in care delivery, we are improving it at source, where the core elements of care happen. We’re bringing software solutions to a group that has traditionally been underserved and overlooked. 

Aster: Equipping the providers of healthcare to materially change outcomes

At Aster we believe the best way to ensure care for patients is to serve the people who provide that care. 

Patient outcomes are inextricably linked to the health and vitality of the clinic in which they are being treated. These healthcare providers are the first port of call for anyone in need, and  are the gatekeepers to high-quality care, whether for testing, diagnosis, or treatment. We believe that building tools which strengthen providers, is the only way to materially change health outcomes in a significant way – and at scale. 

The U.S. healthcare industry has seen a rapid diversification of maternal care specialties including OB/GYNs, Midwives, Nurse Practitioners, Doulas, MFM and Lactation Consultants. Unfortunately this fragmentation has left most stitched together, at best, in an ad-hoc way, at worse not at all. Aster solves this problem, and unifies an otherwise disparate and dysfunctional ecosystem.

Myla Flores, founder of The Birthing Place, comments:

“As maternal health providers we are always looking to improve our client's experiences and provide better outcomes and experiences for expectant mothers and their babies. We have been waiting for a solution like Aster – it supports our clinical team's workflow tremendously so we can give our clients the world class care we strive for and they deserve.”

Monique Woodard, General Partner of Cake Ventures, comments:

“I invest in founders who want to deliver innovation to large, legacy industries like healthcare, and solve the biggest problems for future generations.. The state of maternal health in the United States is disturbing and urgent. With the highest maternal mortality rate among high-income countries, it is unacceptable that pregnancy for American women can still feel like a dangerous undertaking, and the data shows that the situation is even worse for Black women. The Aster team are the right founders to tackle this important problem through technology and personal experience.”

What’s next for Aster

We are building the platform to enable women’s health providers to deliver materially better care. In order to achieve this we’ve raised $2.4M from an incredible set of investors who bring  conviction and experience. These include: 

  • Funds: Cake Ventures (Monique Woodard & Shaherose Charania), Cornerstone VC (Rodney Appiah), Zeal Capital Partners, BBFI (Stefanie Thomas & Richard Odior), Sterling Road (Ash Rust), Octopus Ventures, FCF (Kirsten Connell), Blueprint Ventures (Roxann Stafford), Everywhere Ventures (The XX Fund) (Sylvia Kuyel, Jenny Fielding & Scott Hartley) and The Council (Amber Illig).
  • Angels: Black Angels Group (led by Candice Morgan), Y&Z Ventures (led by Emma Ohanian), Joseph Kitonga (Founder of Vitable Health), Gwendolyn Whitney (SVP of Global Blood Therapeutics),  Rachel Tsui (Sr. Director at Komodo Health), JT Trollman (Former, Head of Design at Cruise), Swapna Joshi (Group PM, Meta), Tim Wong (Director of Design, Roblox), Marcy Regaldo (Head of Design at Magna), Shruti Challa (COO of Sonder) and many more. 

Get in touch!

We’re currently rolling out our Beta platform to providers and practices across the U.S. If you’re interested in joining our growing customer list and securing an onboarding date - please get in touch with me at fifi@astercare.com.

Join a number of other providers who are signed up to use Aster.  Also we’re hiring!  Check out roles here.