March 5, 2024

Fertility becomes a global money-spinner 

The Economist analyses the market

The fertility market is growing so fast that The Economist recently featured an article about investment opportunities.

“By 2026 the global fertility industry could rake in US$41bn in sales, from $25bn today. Today one in 60 in America is born thanks to in vitro fertilisation (IVF) and other artificial treatments. In Denmark, Israel and Japan the figure is more than one in 25—and rising. In China revenues could double to over $7bn by 2023, according to Frost & Sullivan, a data firm. Add high operating margins—of around 30% in America for a $20,000 round of IVF—plus the recession-proof nature of the desire for offspring, and investors are understandably excited.”

Traditionally IVF clinics marketed their services to childless couples. Now they are drawing clients from other demographics: single women, gay couples, and women who want to postpone childbearing while they pursue a career or find their soulmate.

Money is being poured into the industry, according to The Economist:

 “In 2018 fertility firms received $624m from venture capitalists and private-equity firms, compared with less than $200m in 2009, according to Pitchbook, a data provider. In June Jinxin Fertility raised $360m in an initial public offering, the first on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange for a Chinese fertility firm. The market capitalisation of Vitrolife, a listed Swedish company, has tripled since 2015, to $2bn.”

Egg-freezing has become a market of its own. The Economist  highlights Trellis Health, a new company in Manhattan which specialises in helping women keep their options open. The sales pitch is different. Its website says that it is “not a traditional fertility clinic, but a fertility studio — a revolutionary wellness destination where state-of-the-art egg freezing science meets wellness.”

Michael Cook is editor of BioEdge

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