With backing from Thiel, Recharge Capital launches $200M women’s health investment vehicle

Demand for IVF is growing worldwide, but only 1% of healthcare research is invested in female health conditions. Recharge Capital wants to bridge the gap with a new investment vehicle totaling $200 million. It will focus on creating women’s health and fertility care ecosystems in Southeast Asia, Latin America, Europe and the Middle East through investments and roll-ups, including digital healthcare platforms and local clinics.

Today, the New York-based venture firm announced the closure of its first tranche with funding from investors like Peter Thiel, the Olayan Group, Blue Lion Group, the Al Rashid family of the Salmira Investment Fund, the Disney family’s Shamrock Holdings, the Ozmen family of the Sierra Nevada Corporation, Hedosophia’s Ian Osborne and Lovett’s Frank Liu.

Recharge Capital incubates startups, as well as investing in companies that have already been founded. Some of its investments include Southeast Asian fertility services clinic Generation Prime, Mexican fertility clinic Fertilidad Integral, IVF software provider Embryonics and menstrual wellness startup Elix Healing.

Recharge Capital founding partner Lorin Gu told TechCrunch that the firm looks for sectors that can benefit from a mix of venture capital and private equity. It decided to focus on female healthcare because of past successful investments. “In addition, members of the firm including myself have undergone their own fertility journeys and gained an understanding of areas of improvement that could take place in the industry,” he said, adding that one of Recharge’s goals is to increase access to family planning services around the world.

One demographic Recharge Capital is focused on is medical tourism, because the cost of fertility care in many markets is cost prohibitive, so patients look for care in other countries with easy-to-navigate services and regulations. Its target markets (Southeast Asia, Latin America, Europe and the Middle East) have high demand both domestically and from medical tourists, including from China, where many IVF procedures are strictly regulated, including the ban of their use by single women. For businesses that include surrogacy as part of their business model, Gu said Recharge will maintain “rigorous compliance” with surrogacy regulations in each of its target markets to make sure patients and surrogates are treated fairly and ethically.”

Instead of a capital call model, Recharge Capital’s women’s heatlhcare investment vehicle will take a milestone-based deployment schedule instead, working with portfolio companies to develop multi-year execution plans. Gu said a milestone-drive deployment schedule gives investors and managers more visibility into how capital is being deployed, and reduced risks for capital usage. Milestones will be based on revenue and EBITDA.

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