Stix, a direct-to-consumer women's health brand, today announced the close of a $1.3 million seed round. Investors such as BDMI, Rogue Women's Fund, Vamos Ventures, Founders Factory New York, as well as angels like Heidi Zak (ThirdLove) Laurence Franklin (Coach) and Steve Gutentag and Demetri Karagas (30 Madison) participated in the round.
There is no shortage of men's health startups out there to ease the awkwardness and stress of getting products for hair loss or erectile dysfunction. But when it comes to something as common and straightforward as purchasing a pregnancy test, women must still make a run to the drug store.
Stix offers competitively priced pregnancy tests and ovulation tests that customers can purchase online. As a diagnostics product, Stix is FDA-cleared and everything from the instructions to the promotional language has to go through the FDA, according to Cynthia Plotch. The co-founder and CEO says that both the pregnancy tests and ovulation tests are more than 99% accurate.
The Stix pregnancy test costs $13, and includes two tests, free shipping and instructional materials. The ovulation test, which includes seven tests, costs $17.
The company has also taken measures to ensure that the delivery of these products is discreet for customers who don't want their roommates, whether it's a live-in partner or parent or just a regular roommate, to know they're purchasing a pregnancy test.
Stix uses PayPal to stay discreet on the credit card bill, and doesn't include "Stix" on the return address of the shipped products.
"The entire experience is really based on learning and education," said Plotch. "We believe that all women deserve access to these products and peace of mind throughout the experience. So, unlike other brands, we don't focus on the outcome of the test. We don't care whether or not you're trying to get pregnant. We just want to make sure that you have accurate results and the information that you need to understand them."
Beyond the physical products, Stix also offers the Stix Library, an educational resource online that includes content around Stix products (of course), pregnancy, ovulation, birth control and more general health information.
"What we've found is that there is a huge problem around the lack of proper sex education in this country," said Plotch, adding that it provides an opportunity for Stix to fill in the gaps.
When asked if Stix would ever get into the birth control space, Plotch said that Stix has "high goals" and that "nothing is out of the question in the near future."
Stix is currently a team of three women, and plans to use the funding to continue growing the team, which is currently 100% white. Plotch added that the company has a commitment to diversity and that the team will "definitely look different" on the heels of this round.
Editor's Note: An earlier version of this post said that Stix was FDA-approved. It has been updated to reflect that Stix is FDA-cleared.