Our Investment in Lumu, a Cybersecurity Company
I'm pleased to announce our investment in Lumu. Panoramic Fund (BIP Ventures) and SoftBank Group Corp's SB Opportunity Fund are co-leading the $7.5 million.
Bloom Health is a startup on a mission to improve the future of women’s health. With a proprietary algorithm and a simple app, Bloom identifies the distinct phases of each woman’s unique cycle, giving her a better understanding and control over her body and her fertility.
Co-founders Julia Schuller and Dr. Danielle Miller met as patient and doctor in 2019. Julia is a TikTok influencer focused on women's health, but when she began experiencing worrisome symptoms, including severe pelvic pain, stomach issues, and bladder issues, she embarked on her own journey of health discovery.
As Julia sought to understand and manage her symptoms, she was struck by the lack of personalized care for women. After seeing over 20 doctors and accumulating over $10,000 in medical debt, she met Dr. Miller who finally got to the root of her health issues. Dr. Miller diagnosed Julia with PCOS (Polycystic OvarySyndrome) and referred her to an Endometriosis excision specialist, helping her to manage both challenging hormonal conditions.
After working at a large practice for many years, Dr. Miller opened Luz Medicine in 2020 to provide more personalized care to individuals and families in her region. She has long served girls and women with period and fertility problems and believes the market is lacking a convenient and science-based solution for women with these issues. She was excited to join with Julia to create the credible, convenient solution so many of her patients had been seeking.
Period trackers often claim to provide women with information they can use to manage their health – such as identifying ovulation and hormone imbalances. The problem is that most are based on a calendar or 'rhythm' method which assumes that all women have the same menstrual cycle. The reality is that all women are different, many with unique menstrual cycles that may vary due to women’s health conditions or even stress. Tracking biomarkers rather than the number of days since her last period, allows women to track their actual cycles. And that knowledge is power – to manage pregnancies, hormones, and even issues like PCOS and Endometriosis.
This solution was Julia's vision. She believed it would be possible to fill the need for a personalized and scientific approach to women's health. Danielle knew it was possible. It didn't take the two women long to leap into building a startup together.
"So many women are searching for accessible, credible ways to get scientific and accurate information about their bodies." (Dr. Danielle Miller)
With Bloom Health, Julia and Danielle are committed to improving the standard for women's health by providing access to reproductive education. They are motivated by the goal of putting this knowledge and control into the hands of every woman with a smartphone. They also believe they can be a bridge that helps doctors to help their patients.
And because the Bloom solution is for any female between the age of her first period and her last, it's not overly ambitious to believe they could impact millions of lives. In fact, the World Health Organization puts the count of women of reproductive age in the U.S. at 77 million – and 28 million of those women are actively seeking a natural way to manage birth control.1
Bloom uses a proprietary algorithm to identify a woman's fertile window. By tracking unique biomarker data, the app gives each woman a precise understanding of her body. While the scientific approach has been around for decades, Bloom is modernizing it, making it more personalized, credible, reliable, and useful to each woman as she strives to remain healthy throughout her entire hormone years.
"So many women make decisions now because they are backed into a corner and have too few choices. The idea of a woman choosing what is best for her is exhilarating." (Dr. Danielle Miller)
Not surprisingly, the beta version of the product has generated significant excitement. As the company works through customer discovery, they've seen women become hopeful about what this hyper-personalized solution could do for their quality of life. That excitement, plus the reach that Julia and Danielle have in their communities, means that they have no shortage of women volunteering to use the beta version of the product and confirm its credibility and accuracy.
While Bloom is still conducting thorough clinical research, they have had significant validation from credible sources. Most notably, the team has secured funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Vanderbilt University. They also have presented their innovative approach at a United Nations parallel event for the Commission on The Status for Women, advocating for broader access to natural health solutions.
"We’re honored the BIP Ventures team believes in us to lead this important change, improving the lives of millions of women. (Julia Schuller)
As is true for so many founders, the early days of a startup are filled with distractions. For Bloom, details of regulation, fundraising, clinical research, and go-to-market efforts could challenge their focus. But as they continue to picture the women they strive to impact with a science-based, accurate, natural solution – women like Julia's sister and Dr. Miller’s patients – they stay focused.
Funding has been and continues to be vital to their outcomes. It's one of the reasons they pursued a spot on the pitching stage with Startup Showdown. The $120,000 investment award will equip them to make necessary strides toward releasing a well-tested, scientifically valid product.
During beta testing, the funding will support continued software development. With the audience the team has cultivated, the outside validation of credible organizations, and sufficient funding, it's possible that the Bloom team can get its groundbreaking product into women's hands sooner. And as they do, they'll not only satisfy their own hopes for what Bloom can be, but they will satisfy the hopes of millions of women who can make more confident choices for their bodies.