Future of Fertility: innovations transforming the fertility landscape

Environmental and lifestyle changes mean more of us are experiencing fertility issues, but not everyone can access treatment. Fortunately, a crop of exciting new startups, forward-thinking clinics, and pioneering researchers, are starting to bring about change.

Get up to speed on latest trends and hottest startups in the fertility market

Rising infertility rates are quickly becoming a global problem and the success rates of existing Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) are reaching a plateau. It’s a gloomy prognosis but, fortunately, it only tells half the story. Octopus Ventures is the UK’s most active health investor; we believe that if you want to build a better tomorrow – you have to invest in it. Over the last 18 months, we’ve taken a forensic look at the fertility sector to highlight the incredible work being done by startups around the world. Read on to learn how emerging stars in the fertility space are busting taboos, improving access, and developing technology that stands to reshape treatment. The conversation starts here.

1 in 7 couples has difficulty conceiving

Infertility is a huge problem that continues to grow while the success rate of existing ART are reaching a plateau.

Treatment can feel like an expensive gamble with no knowledge of the odds

Fertility treatments are difficult to access and hugely expensive, but a lack of personalisation also means it’s difficult to know your chance of success.

The stigma around infertility means it remains a ‘taboo’ topic

The longstanding taboo around infertility is preventing important conversations from taking place and often stops people seeking help.

“The fertility landscape is undergoing a rapid transformation. Over the next decade, we can expect to see very positive changes in terms of the effectiveness and cost of treatment, how we pay for it, and the way we talk about it.”

Will Gibbs, Health Investor at Octopus Ventures

Adoption of fertility tech

Current ART procedures such as IVF are often ‘last resort’ solutions with plateauing success rates. Advances in automation, data science, microfluidics and omics technology can help improve efficacy and access. 

people holding handing

How to improve access

Fertility treatments are expensive and difficult to access, but new business models are helping to solve this problem. 

Tackling the taboo

Not enough people are talking about fertility, and even fewer are seeking help. Some bold founders and brands are breaking the taboo, encouraging early conversations and interventions.

two women cudding with a little kiss on the forehead

What we want to achieve with this report

Celebrate the role of startups in solving these problems 

Entrepreneurs have long thrived on solving global, daunting problems, as we’re seeing yet again in the fertility market.  It’s only right that we recognise and celebrate this.   

Encourage more diverse and impactful investment into the sector 

Investment into fertility related startups continues to grow at pace, but it still lags behind other areas of health. We think there is a huge opportunity to accelerate that.  

Get people talking

One of the biggest barriers to the sector’s growth is the taboo surrounding the subject of fertility. Our hope is that this report will help to start conversations and erode some of that stigma.  

With thanks to the following people for their contributions:

Get in touch with our Health team to find out more

Octopus Ventures is the most active health investor in the UK, investing across all stages but with a bias towards the earliest stages (Seed and Series A). We are committed to backing pioneers who are transforming the health industry from digital therapeutics through to biotechnology.

Navigate the rest of the report

Chapter 1 – Fertility Tech
Click here
Chapter 2 – Improving access to fertility treatments
Click here
Chapter 3 – Tackling the taboo
Click here