Fertility as an Investment

Origin Finance helps make family-building more affordable with loans for surrogacy, IVF, egg freezing and more.

Meet Angela Rastegar, the CEO of Origin Finance – a company that offers individuals loans for a variety of family building options, including IVF, egg freezing, embryo preservation, gestational surrogacy, and egg donations. Angela is an investor in and mentor to early stage health tech startups. Previously, she was the interim Fund Manager at VilCap Investments, a SF-based seed stage fund and the Founder and CEO of an enterprise fintech company, Agora for Good, which was acquired in 2017 by Impact Matters. Angela has worked as a consultant in the philanthropy and impact investing space with a focus on global health with foundations, mission-driven businesses, high net worth individuals, and multilateral organizations.

We dive into fertility as an investment, how to evaluate and finance your options, and taking control of your future.

Eve #WealthWednesday Highlight #29: Angela Rastegar, CEO – Origin Finance

What is your first investment?

My family helped me with my first investment. When I turned 13, my parents gave me a gold coin for my Bat mitzvah which has slowly but gradually been growing in value. Now, I’m into cryptocurrency and other alternatives which definitely evolve much quicker!

How/why did you get into your space?

The connection between health and finance has always fascinated me. My background is in reproductive health and there was one point where I thought of becoming a doctor. While I had a variety of interests, I became increasingly eager to have a more significant impact on the business side of healthcare. My first company was with a platform to help people donate to international NGOs, many of which were focused on global health. After that, I switched to working in the fertility industry where there has been a growing interest and much more consideration given to freezing your eggs to give you more time and delay planning a family. I’ve frozen my eggs and it’s a great option, but it definitely is costly.

Read more  Download My Free E-Book

I’ve been a director for a large fertility company where I saw clients struggling to avail of our services. Banks and lenders were very hesitant to fund these kinds of medical procedures because they consider it too risky of a product. My team and I built Origin Finance, a fertility financing company, to help women and couples with funding different fertility options and being able to buy themselves a bit more time as they prepare and plan for a family. Over the years, our company has grown and expanded and now draws interest from traditional lenders and other financing institutions.

What role do you play in the wealth space, and why is it important?

I believe women should invest in their own fertility through options like egg freezing. Doing so allows us to take control of the path that we walk and helps relieve some of the pressure we carry. Most women face a very short window – essentially just ten years, from 25 and 35 years old – to figure out their career and family. Investing in freezing your eggs will give you more time to do all the things that you want to do.

In the past year and a half, we’ve seen rapid growth in interest. During the pandemic, we’ve seen a phenomenal rate of demand increase 35-50%. I am glad that more women and families are investing in the fertility space. Origin Finance is here to offer payment plans for as low as $250 per month to allow you to freeze your eggs.

Many women might feel a huge blockage in exploring this investment option because our healthcare system in the US does not support preventive treatments or women’s health issues. There are a few states that pay for young women with cancer to freeze their eggs before going through chemotherapy, but the healthcare industry does not expect major insurance companies to add these kinds of options to their coverage plans. There are so many factors you have to consider on a personal level, but in reality, we often have to fund these kinds of treatments by ourselves. At Origin Finance, we’re here to make the entire process less daunting.

Read more  How To Invest In Tata Stocks From India

What do you believe is the most exciting thing you’ve learned and want others to know?

It is never too early to prepare for your fertility journey. When you have the resources or if you are interested in working with Origin Finance, we recommend starting the process in your late 20s or early 30s. After that, the quality and quantity of eggs decline, so it’s critical to think of when to opt for a fertility option. Most companies do not work with egg donors past the age of 30. Deciding to freeze your eggs earlier may give you peace of mind and flexibility with more options down the line.

The fertility health space is evolving at a rapid pace. The UK passed a new law allowing storage of eggs or embryos for up to 55 years. This kind of extended storage period allows for better costs for annual storage fees, ranging from $650 – $2,000 per year. Freezing your eggs does entails extra costs you need to take into account, but the overall consensus is the earlier you freeze them, the better.

Who is a person or company that inspires you in space, and why?

A lot of innovation has happened in the fertility industry. It’s incredibly exciting to me that more female investors are investing in health, and focusing on women’s health. One female investor that inspires me is my friend Dina Burkitbayeva. She is an investor in the mental health field, with an interest in the growing psychedelics space. Dina has been digging deeper into women’s mental health vs. their male counterparts.

What advice would you give to someone getting started?

Every woman’s body and concerns are different, so it is best to speak to a medical professional to know what’s suitable for your body.

It will likely be helpful to run through illustrative numbers regarding egg freezing. The process costs between $6,500 to $12,000, excluding medication, which can cost a few thousand dollars. If you decide to or need to opt for two cycles, your clinic may give you a discount. The entire process takes about two months.

Read more  The Pros and Cons of Investing with a Real Estate IRA

It can be challenging to provide a general guideline because cycles vary from one woman to another. To know the number of viable eggs, you’ll need to do an ultrasound and see what your doctor thinks. For example, a woman aged 34 might retrieve 15 mature eggs, which could result in 11 viable eggs during the thawing process, and then an average of 8 that will become fertilized embryos. Out of those eight, it’s likely only two of them will be healthy (genetically normal) and used in IVF to have a baby. The sooner you look into your options and speak to your doctor, the better to avoid the eventual drop-off rate. I hope this inspires you to get a sense of the timing, costs, and an idea of results you can expect before you fully invest in freezing your eggs. However, these numbers differ vastly for every woman, so going in for an initial consultation is the best way to learn about your own body.

Anything else we should know?

My company website is originfinance.com. We have put together a lot of resources for women who want information on clinics in their area, how to make this investment for themselves, and how to take out a loan. If you are thinking of being an investor in the fertility space, there is an article on Crunchbase about how the fertility sector is seeing record investments from a venture perspective.

FemTech or SexTech is a very exciting area to keep on your radar if you are doing any early-stage investing. There aren’t a whole lot of venture funds focused on that just yet, but many are starting to add this space to their portfolios or expand what’s already in their portfolio as this space continues to grow. I would certainly consider adding a small sliver of that to your portfolio because it’s poised for tremendous growth over the coming decade.

#wealthwednesday #evewealth #fertilityinvest #fertility101

Have thoughts on this week’s topic or questions for me or Angela Rastegar? Post your thoughts in the comment section. Until next week. 🙂

You can connect with Angela on LINKEDIN

Follow Alana on LINKEDIN for the latest news in #fintech