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1Mby1M Deal Radar 2010: FertilityAuthority, New York City

Posted on Monday, Sep 27th 2010

FertilityAuthority is a fertility-focused digital media company whose platforms include FertilityAuthority.com; FertileThoughts.com, the world’s largest fertility social media site; and TopFertilityDocs.com, connecting qualified patients directly to fertility specialists. It also has a premium business services unit that offers Web development and online marketing for fertility service providers. The New York City–based company was founded in 2008 by Gina Bartasi. Prior to FertilityAuthority.com, Bartasi was the founder and chairman of The Leader Publishing Group, a magazine publishing firm in Atlanta, where she was an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalist, Metro Atlanta Chamber’s Small Business Person of the Year finalist and a finalist for Woman of the Year in Technology. Fertility is a more than $4 billion market and is growing rapidly to $5 billion, in part because more people in the United States are delaying marriage. Reproduction experts generally agree that a woman’s optimal childbearing years are between the ages of twenty and thirty-five, but in the United States, Canada, and many other countries, the number of births to women over age thirty has, in some cases, more than doubled. FertilityAuthority has developed a diversified business model where clients are buying everything from premium advertising CPM models and directory listings to SEO/SEM management services and Web site development services. Most recently, the company launched a lead generation site: www.topfertilitydocs.com. Most revenue comes through premium CPM advertising, and the average CPM is $85. The top target segments are fertility clinics, fertility drug manufacturers, and consumer packaged goods companies (Procter & Gamble’s ClearBlue Easy pregnancy test, Johnson&Johnson, etc.) There are more than 250,000 users and fifty-four advertising clients, including ClearBlue Easy, California Cryobank, The University of Utah, Donor Network Alliance, National Fertility Center Law, In Vitro Sciences, and various fertility centers and cryobanks, which are used to store ova and sperm, throughout the country. Bartasi says the company has gained traction through “[having its] feet on the street, integrity, hard work, and being flexible.” The portal is designed to be useful to both women and men whether they are heterosexual or homosexual and includes sites with information on basic fertility topics; infertility and its causes; treatment; emotional consequences of infertility; information about fertility doctors; adoption; family building options for gay men and lesbians; and financial planning. There are local guides to fertility resources, blogs, forums, a doctor and nurse of the month, and a newsletter, The Daily Shot. In terms of competitors, WebMD, a site that I cover regularly, is not dedicated exclusively to fertility but does have information about fertility and conception and hosts communities for those trying to conceive. Other fertility websites include two nonprofit sites, www.resolve.org and www.theafa.org. Fertility and Infertility Research News Portal is an online source that brings in content from media sites such as PregnancyWeekly.com and hosts user communities around a range of topics. There is also a magazine with a website, www.conceiveonline.com. The company will have more than $2 million in revenue in 2010 with a 33% profit. It has been profitable since its second quarter. At present, FertilityAuthority is finalizing an angel round. It raised $500,000 in friends and family money last year and is on track to do the same this year. One future possibility is financing with traditional debt rather than equity so that the company’s shareholders are not further diluted. All employees are shareholders. According to the founders, FertilityAuthority’s growth strategy is to focus on lead generation, international expansion, and online appointment booking system, and the introduction of a specialty-finance product. An exit will be through acquisition, “when the buyer is prepared to pay five to six times the value of the last shareholder in over a twelve-month time frame and six times to eight times over a twenty-four month time frame.” Recommended Reading Deal Radar 2010: HealthYes! The Birds and the Bees (via the Fertility Clinic) (a New York Times op-ed) Can You Do It All? Eventbrite Cofounder And Mother Julia Hartz

This segment is a part in the series : 1Mby1M Deal Radar 2010

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Robert Thomes Wednesday, September 29, 2010 at 3:41 AM PT