Company Profile

Modern Fertility

Sells at-home blood-test kits for women to monitor their fertility.

Modern Fertility co-founders Afton Vechery (L) and Carly Leahy.
Industry
Health
Year Founded
2017
Company Size
11-50 employees
Data as of Publication on Aug. 11, 2020
Company Description

After a stint in private equity, where she did due diligence on in vitro fertilization clinics, Afton Vechery knew why infertility rates are rising: Women are choosing to have children later. The problem, she thought, was women didn't get relevant fertility data until it was too late. So she envisioned a company that gives women a snapshot of their fertility while speaking like "an ob-gyn who also happens to be your best friend." (For that voice, she needed co-founder Carly Leahy, a branding whiz who helped launch Uber Eats.) In 2017, they launched Modern Fertility, which charges $159 for at-home blood tests that help women assess, say, how many eggs they have and how close they may be to menopause. Customers receive a full report along with a free one-on-one consultation with a nurse; similar tests at a clinic can run as high as $1,500 if they're not covered by insurance. "I wish there was a magic test to tell women exactly when they should have kids," says Vechery. Until there is, her company will democratize that data. --Lindsay Blakely

NPHub

Offers graduate nursing students matchmaking services to secure clinical rotations.

Co-founder and CEO of NPHub Krish Chopra.
Industry
Business Products & Services
Year Founded
2017
Company Size
1-10 employees
Twitter
Data as of Publication on Aug. 11, 2020
Company Description

Prior to NPHub, Chopra founded a company called United Medical Rotations, which specialized in matching medical students who received their degrees in the Caribbean with clinical rotations in the United States. Through that venture, Chopra realized that nursing students in the U.S. also needed help finding clinical rotations. He backed his way into a significant problem: U.S. universities don't always offer formal medical rotations for nursing-degree candidates. Nor are nursing educators paid for taking these students on. That gave rise to NPHub, which today works with 340 instructors across 23 states. While the company has helped place roughly 2,000 nursing students with instructors to date, the goal is to work directly with universities and expand to all 50 states. --Malak Saleh

Pachyderm

A maker of software that offers version control and tracking capabilities for data scientists.

Industry
Software
Year Founded
2014
Twitter
Data as of Publication on Aug. 11, 2020
Company Description

Companies today need to distill massive amounts of data--say, a bank’s withdrawals or deposits--to find trends and make predictions. Consider how a bank knows when to raise red flags if odd purchase behavior gets registered. Businesses hire data scientists to turn copious amounts of data into actual knowledge that they can make decisions with. That’s where Pachyderm’s open-source software comes in. It offers version control and gives users a snapshot of how data looked at any given time--an especially valuable tool in today’s GDPR age, when citizens increasingly have the right to ask how their data is being used. 

Although the core package is open source and free to use, many businesses pay for the enterprise edition of the software, purchased with a yearly plan, which provides increased security features, as well as advanced analytics and support from the Pachyderm team. Joey Zwicker and Joe Doliner, Pachyderm’s co-founders, have raised more than $12 million from investors like Benchmark, Blumberg Capital and Susa Ventures. -- Talib Visram

Parallel Domain

A maker of virtual environments where autonomous vehicles can refine their driving algorithms with no risk to humans.

Parallel Domain founder Kevin McNamara.
Industry
Software
Location
Palo Alto, California
Year Founded
2017
Company Size
1-10 employees
Data as of Publication on Aug. 11, 2020
Company Description

Every year, 1.25 million people around the world die in motor vehicle accidents. "It's not a huge topic of conversation in most living rooms because we just accept that," says Kevin McNamara. "I think that's really strange." McNamara's startup, Parallel Domain, is hoping to change that by making it easier for self-driving cars to get smarter without the risks of real-world road testing. It does that by offering software tools to build photorealistic, dynamic, 3-D environments where autonomous-vehicle systems can conduct millions or billions of training sessions, providing them with the data they need to spot rare but potentially fatal bugs. "Simulation is really the only way you can prove an autonomous vehicle is safe," says Jim Adler, managing director of Toyota AI Ventures, which participated in Parallel Domain's seed round. A former employee of Apple and Microsoft, McNamara got into computer graphics after seeing the movie Finding Nemo. He was so inspired, he sought out an internship at Pixar. Eventually, he hopes Parallel Domain will expand from virtual training environments into other areas, including entertainment--which would bring his career full circle. --Jeff Bercovici  

Playa

Maker of sustainably sourced, cruelty-free, organic hair care products.

Industry
Retail
Location
Venice, California
Year Founded
2017
Company Size
1-10 employees
Data as of Publication on Aug. 11, 2020
Company Description

When Shelby Wild was working as a stylist in New York City, she was constantly spending money on hair care products that never fulfilled the promise of healthy looking hair. Wild was using as many as six products at a time to conceive a wavy hairdo. "The products that were effective were incredibly toxic, and the more natural variations didn’t really work," Wild says. That's when she realized there needed to be a simpler solution to achieving effortlessly healthy looking hair--so she made it herself. Her company, Playa, produces a product line that includes shampoos and conditioners that are toxins free. She adds that all Playa goods are made with organic herbal ingredients that are never tested on animals. Currently, Playa products are sold internationally in the United States, Germany, Canada, and Australia through the company's online website as well as through its dominant retailer, Sephora. Playa expects to book $6.5 million in revenue by the end of 2019. -- Malak Saleh