American tennis star, Serena Williams, through her firm Serena Ventures, has invested in Mahmee, a Los Angeles- based digital startup created to digitally monitor maternal health.
Mahmee is set to halt the continuous rise in maternal mortality affecting black women in the USA with the technology. The latest funding is set to expand the workforce of Mahmee, adding to the already existing engineers, sales staffs and clinicians. To date, the tech company’s network includes 1,000 providers and organisations like UCLA, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Altamed and Cedar-Sinai Medical Center.
“Given the bleak data surrounding maternal death and injury rates, I believe that it is absolutely critical right now to invest in solutions that help protect the lives of moms and babies. Mahmee’s data-driven approach is the right solution to one of the most significant problems in the system: that of fragmented care,” said Ms Williams, who has previously described the life-threatening complications she experienced after giving birth to her daughter in 2017.
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Her investment comes as a result of complications through childbirth. In an interview with Vogue, she revealed, “she had to have multiple operations when she sustained a pulmonary embolism the day after giving birth to her daughter at the age of 36.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control, about 700 women die from pregnancy-related complications in the United States every year, three in five of those deaths are preventable, and one-third of those deaths happen up to a year after the birth.
Angel investor, Mark Cuban joined Serena Williams in the $3 million funding round.
“I am incredibly excited to invest and partner with Mahmee, a company that personifies my firm’s investment philosophy,” Williams said in a statement. “Given the bleak data surrounding maternal death and injury rates, I believe that it is absolutely critical right now to invest in solutions that help protect the lives of moms and babies,” she said
Mahmee was founded in 2014 by Melissa Hanna. It is an online platform that allows women to track their health and the health of their child after giving birth. It connects users with supplemental health professionals, like lactation consultants and lets them ask questions they feel don’t rise to the level of contacting their doctor.