Startup Q&A is an interview series showcasing early-stage health, fitness, and wellness companies.
In this Q&A, Elektra Health co-founders Alessandra Henderson and Jannine Versi discuss their solution for combating menopause, the expansive women’s health market, and raising funding from Alexis Ohanian’s Seven Seven Six and Flare Capital Partners, among others.
Can you tell us about what you’re working on at Elektra Health?
Elektra provides evidence-based menopause education, expertise, and community to help women understand where they are in their menopause journey, empowering them to proactively manage symptoms and optimize their future health.
We don’t sell medication or promote a particular type of treatment, as we know that each woman’s experience with menopause will be as unique as she is. Instead, we take a holistic integrative approach to menopause education and care, starting with lifestyle and incorporating integrative medicine as well as traditional care — all based in science. We’re fortunate to have some of the world’s leading experts in the space on our team, including Dr. Lila Nachtigall, former president of the North American Menopause Society (NAMS).
In addition to offering world-class telemedicine menopause care to women in select states, we’re also building the first full-stack digital platform, which we call Meno-morphosis, to support women over their 10-plus-year menopause journey.
This platform—currently in private beta—features evidence-based pathways for managing symptoms, as well as private community support and 1:1 text access to a dedicated menopause expert (an “Elektra Guide”). Our guides act much like a menopause doula, to provide answers, support, and expertise when women need it most.
How did you come up with the idea? What key insight led you to pursue this opportunity?
A personal health journey demonstrated to me firsthand just how fragmented and confusing the healthcare system can be, particularly when it comes to hormonal health. In 2017, I froze my eggs and the hormones from egg freezing (a small patch near my ovaries) impacted my eyesight.
It was a huge wake-up call. That’s when I started going very deep into the hormonal health space and discovered just how little quality information and resources there are for women.
I was introduced to Jannine a few months into founding Elektra Health by mutual friends (and now investors!), and she was the immediate perfect fit to build this company with.
We had both been following the interesting new developments in women’s health, especially around fertility and reproductive health. The businesses starting and evolving in this space were and remain exciting and much-needed, but there’s a huge gap when it comes to menopause care.
Menopause is something half the population will experience, and yet it’s underfunded, underreserached, and the women experiencing it are underserved. We made it our mission to change that… and smash some taboos along the way.
How did you turn your idea into a company?
Once we connected the dots and realized that 50 million women are currently experiencing perimenopause and menopause in the US today—and that 80% of women report that menopause symptoms negatively affect quality of life—we knew there was room for something like Elektra to fundamentally change the game.
Right away, we knew we’d want and need the input of the top medical experts in the space. We brought on board Dr. Anna Barbieri, MD, FACOG, NCMP and Jacqueline Giannelli, FNP-BC, NCMP as members of our founding team. Both have played a critical role in overseeing patient care, developing Elektra’s care model, working on content and education to benefit our community, and liaising with the medical and scientific community around innovations in menopause medicine.
While the founding medical team worked on creating an accessible care and education model, Jannine and I secured funding and oversaw how we would get Elektra in front of anyone who needs it.
How big can this get? What’s the addressable market, and how do you go about capturing it?
By the year 2025, the number of postmenopausal women is expected to rise to 1.1 billion worldwide. While, fun fact, menopause itself is technically only one day (the exact day at which she has not had her period for a full year), for most women, perimenopause is a journey of seven to 10 years.
We aim to become a partner for this decade-long experience, ensuring all women have the education and support they need.
Who is the core customer? How are you acquiring customers?
Our core customer is currently on the hormonal journey that is perimenopause and menopause. Largely, our growth thus far has been through word of mouth and content marketing. Our customer is very smart and knows she deserves better—so she’s eager to dive in when she sees a blog post or hears from a friend that Elektra can support her through this major life phase.
Looking at your road map, what are some of the milestones you’re targeting over the next 3–6 months?
We’re reimagining healthcare and wellness for women leading up to menopause and beyond it. Over the coming months, we’ll be opening our Meno-morphosis platform to the community.
We’re also excited to grow our team to ensure that the hard work we’re doing behind the scenes makes its way to the women who will benefit from it. If you’d like to join us and our women’s health movement, please reach out to us at email@example.com!
Anything else you’d like to share with readers?
We recently announced our $3.75M seed round co-led by Alexis Ohanian’s Seven Seven Six and Flare Capital Partners, along with additional game-changing angel and institutional investors. We’re proud to say that two-thirds of our investors are badass women!
If you’re interested in having your company featured in our Startup Spotlight series, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.