di , 07/05/2024

BROOKLYN, N.Y.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Mae Health Inc, announces the close of a seed raise, led by Jumpstart Nova, to scale its tech-enabled services offering to drive improvements in Black maternal health outcomes. Mae’s round also included participation from new investors including the Astia Fund, Impact Engine, Joyance Partners, and Gratitude Railroad, and early investors RH Capital, Avestria Ventures, Bright Ventures, and the Social Starts Health & Happiness Fund.

Black Americans face a maternal mortality rate more than two and half times higher than other demographic groups. The U.S. has also seen an alarming increase in maternity care deserts, with an estimated 16% of Black babies born in areas with limited or no access to maternity care services. Mae’s oversubscribed seed raise, enabling the company to scale while combating these disparities, comes at a critical time as the country continues to face rising maternal and infant mortality rates.

Mae combines a digital engagement and risk-tracking platform with community-based doula support to better align provider support teams and center the pregnant person throughout the perinatal journey, all with the goal of reducing disparate maternal health outcomes, including preterm births and non-medically necessary C-sections.

Mae is already making an impact:

  • Supporting beneficiaries in six states across many of the largest Medicaid insurance plans
  • Achieving a 30% reduction in C-section rates and a 30% reduction in preterm birth rates (compared to the National averages for Black women)
  • Forging meaningful partnerships to support capacity building and sustainability for birth workers of color

“Since our founding, our goal at Mae has been to create more seamless pathways for established, impactful clinical interventions to reach more birthing people of color, and we’re thrilled by the progress we’ve made in our earliest years. We are grateful for the partnership of Jumpstart Nova and our growing community of investors in believing deeply in this mission, and working collaboratively with us to drive towards improvements in maternal health equity,” says Mae’s founder and CEO, Maya Hardigan.

Notably, Mae has prioritized Medicaid partnerships, as Medicaid covers nearly half of all births and upwards of 65% of Black births nationally. Mae partners with states and Managed Care Organizations to deploy innovative maternal health initiatives and newly established regulatory changes, including providing support and coverage through 12 months postpartum and promoting fully covered doula benefits to individuals covered under Medicaid.

“Venture capital has an outsized influence on which healthcare ideas and problems are perceived as worth funding and will make money. Saving Black mothers is worth funding and investing in Mae will generate significant returns. Despite over $50 billion USD invested in the U.S. pregnancy care market, total morbidity costs for all U.S. births are estimated to be $32 billion USD and many of these costs are avoidable. We are failing our mothers. Mae has created a culturally competent care model fit for diverse patient populations, a growing population that represents nearly half of the births in the U.S.”

Kathryne Cooper, Partner, Jumpstart Nova

Mae is equally committed to increasing the overall doula provider workforce and works to support doulas interested in Medicaid participation through registrations and ongoing administrative support in serving Medicaid beneficiaries. Doulas are a critical support in advocating for birthing people and improving pregnancy experiences and outcomes.

According to Angelene Love, a community-based doula in Michigan with whom Mae is partnered, “The support that Mae offers both families and doulas is unmatched. Mae provides educational support that they otherwise would not have access to, and I’ve been able to amplify my reach to provide more families with doula support.”

With this funding, Mae will continue to harness the collective expertise of community-based stakeholders, managed care organizations, and state Departments of Health to drive meaningful change for Black mothers, their communities, and the birth workers supporting them.

About Mae

Mae is a culturally responsive digital first solution built to address the specific clinical, social, and cultural needs of underserved expectant mothers, with an early focus on Black expectant mothers, those with the most striking disparities in maternal health outcomes. Mae has created a space where complete digital care meets culturally aligned on-the-ground doula support. For more information, please visit meetmae.com.

​​About Jumpstart Nova

Jumpstart Nova is the first venture fund in America to invest exclusively in Black founded and led healthcare companies at the forefront of innovation. That was only the beginning. Jumpstart Nova Fund I invests in seed and Series A stage companies in the areas of tech-enabled services, biotech, diagnostic devices, health IT, digital health, and consumer health & wellness. The fund is strategically backed by leading healthcare organizations in the US such as Eli Lilly and Company, HCA Healthcare, Cardinal Health, Atrium Health, Henry Ford Health System, LHC Group, Meharry Medical College, and American Hospital Association. For more information, please visit jumpstartnova.com.


Rachel Nance Wade