Startup Series: Caria - the first AI-powered platform for women in menopause
Antler portfolio company Caria is the first AI-powered platform for women in menopause. To celebrate World Menopause day, they introduced Caria Premium Memberships last week. Co-founders Arfa Rehman and Scott Gorman collaborated with the Antler US team to build and refine this membership and launch several new features, which include a new digital behavioral health program and more advanced health tracking.
The investor backing the world's most driven founders, from day zero to greatness. Enabling thousands of founders every year to launch and scale companies that move the world forward.
October 26, 2020
Share this post
After meeting at Oxford, Arfa and Scott built and commercialized their first product Virtue, a VR-based digital therapeutic for cognitive health and dementia, which ultimately sold to the UK's National Health Service (NHS). The idea for Caria emerged as the duo researched healthcare technology for Virtue and realized a glaring lack of innovation existed in women's post-reproductive health. Arfa explains, "It was an eye-opening experience for me because I learned that when women enter peri menopause - which lasts four to five years on average - we go through physiological changes that have profound implications for our long-term health. But this critical turning point is largely ignored. The healthcare system is just not set up to help women get the support they need; AARP reports that less than 20 percent of OBGYN residency programs in the US offer formal training in treating menopause. That's a shocking statistic."
Arfa and Scott built Caria for the 1 billion women in menopause worldwide. According to AARP, 75% of women in peri menopause (aged 40-55) experience an impact on their mental, physical, and sexual health due to symptoms like anxiety, depression, painful sex, brain fog, and joint pain. Combining symptoms data with personal preferences, Caria takes a holistic approach to provide women answers about their bodies and connects them to personalized care, evidence-based programs, and a supportive community during menopause. It's estimated that 42% of women spend more than a year getting a diagnosis and finding the right care for the challenges that emerge during menopause. By providing data-driven, personalized solutions, Caria saves women time and money in sourcing treatment. "It's 2020, we have the technology, there's a huge demand - so there's no excuse for the lack of innovation. We need to develop solutions that help every woman navigate this normal but challenging phase of life. It's all about connecting women to the answers, the support, and the relief that they need quickly, at low cost, and with greater compassion," says Arfa.
Arfa encourages prospective health tech founders to look beyond the obvious and admits that, while healthcare challenges are harder to solve, innovation is crucial and there's an enormous opportunity to make substantial impact. She adds, "There are huge, invisible pain points and vacuums that exist in healthcare. Menopause is a great example of that, which is crazy because women have always gone through it. Look to the underserved groups with pain points, where the healthcare system isn't delivering. There's huge potential to build valuable, impactful businesses in those gaps."
As for their experience working with Antler, the Caria team remarks‚ "There are definitely programs which have a lot of, you know, fluff. But Antler focuses on the needs of the founders and the company, which is unique. The Antler team is dedicated to making your company successful and they work with you to make things happen according to your needs."
As everyone anticipates the next wave of ultra-successful companies in Benelux, what does it take to get there? What do the successful founders of Benelux unicorns look like? This report is an in-depth look at the Benelux startup ecosystem and its brightest stars. And above all, it is for anyone who is helping build the next 50 unicorns in Benelux.
The Angle is a new content series from Antler, featuring perspectives from our team members on the biggest events and trends impacting founders and early-stage investors today. Every article is that person's unique angle on a hot topic—what they see from their vantage point in one of our 25 offices around the globe—not Antler's stance. In our first edition, Jeff Becker draws lessons from the demise of FTX and turbulent tech moments in recent years. This article first appeared in Jeff's Monday Morning Meeting on Substack.
Our new content series—"It All Starts with People"—delves into the passions, motivations, and vision of the exceptional founders we have the privilege of partnering wtih around the world. In our second spotlight, we sat down with Jamie Bubb, co-founder of Twirl, a remote content studio powered by top-quality creators that helps brands scale their content engines rapidly and cost-effectively.
We are living two simultaneous realities: the uncertainty of the current downturn and the unstoppable wave of innovation disrupting every industry. Against this backdrop, Antler's Kevin Brennan shares perspectives on assessing your position in venture capital for the rest of 2022 and into 2023. Might 2023 be the best vintage for the coming decade?
Antler was founded on the belief that people innovating is the key to building a better future. To honor them, we are launching a new content series—”It All Starts with People”—spotlighting the exceptional founders we have the privilege of partnering with around the world. Each story is a window into their passions, motivations, and vision—the reasons they are building and the positive dent they are aiming to make on the world.
In our first spotlight, we sat down with Emilia Theye, the co-founder of clare&me—a mental health app that uses language-based AI to develop an innovative approach to virtual self-help.
Founders are the life force of the startup ecosystem. They give their all, betting on their seemingly “crazy” convictions and executing on abstract ideas that can potentially make our lives and work easier, faster, healthier, and better optimized.
But sometimes they do this to the detriment of their health. Being a founder means being beholden to customers, employees, and investors while balancing personal life. Often founders trade their stable, well-paying jobs to prioritize the restless inquisitivity of their mind. In the quest to answer the question “what if?”, they sometimes sacrifice their mental and physical health, only realizing the effects on their state of mind once they have impacted their ability to function as a leader. We have also seen how the mental pressure on founders can cause distress to those who depend on them for their livelihood and direction.