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Ovuline raises $1.4 million for apps and services that promote procreation

Posted by Scott Kirsner  January 7, 2013 07:45 AM

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Cambridge startup Ovuline is pretty clear about its mission: "We make babies," founder Paris Wallace, right, likes to say. But while couples in days of yore relied on scented candles, oysters, or Al Green for help, in 2013 Ovuline is pitching an app and a web site to help the process along.

And the company, which graduated from the TechStars Boston program last fall, has just raised $1.4 from a group of investors including Lightbank, Cambridge-based Launch Capital, LionBird, and TechStars founder and CEO David Cohen.

Today, Ovuline sells a mobile app ($9.99) and access to a website ($30) that help women monitor their fertility, and supply advice about "what to do every day to maximize it," Wallace says. "We are finding our early users are getting pregnant two times faster than the national average." (The company also sells supplies like ovulation tests, fertility supplements, and basal thermometers.) Going forward, Wallace says, Ovuline is expanding its focus to "use the same data analytics and clinical guidelines to help women have a healthier pregnancy." Wallace talks about collecting data with devices like home blood pressure cuffs, scales, and pedometers.

"Right now, the standard of care is 10 to 14 doctor visits over the course of a pregnancy. But taking your blood pressure daily can be a way to spot problems like preeclampsia, which can threaten the health of the mother and the fetus," he says. "You can catch things early."

He talks about pregnancy as "one of the times when women radically change their health behavior. We are trying to take quantified self technology and apply it to a very specific time when people are motivated to change, and willing to engage."

The company has five full-time employees, and "we're going to be growing with this financing," Wallace says. Ovuline will be moving into Launch Capital's Harvard Square offices sometime later this month.

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Innovation and technology news that matters, on a new website from the Boston Globe, featuring Scott Kirsner and other original reporting.

About Scott Kirsner

Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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