LEIA Health, a Swedish startup focused on supporting new parents during the fourth trimester, has raised €1.4 million in pre-seed funding. The round was led by People Ventures with participation from Norsken, Unconventional Ventures, The Case for Her and Octaquest. LEIA raised an angel round of €600,000 about a year ago.
Of the 140 million women who give birth each year, 90% will experience physical and mental problems the following year, known as the postpartum period, with the majority unsupported and undiagnosed. Founded in 2021 by Sandra Wirström and Astrid Gyllenkrok Kristensen, LEIA is on a mission to reinvent postpartum care for the digital age. Both founders are mothers themselves and have experienced the challenges new parents face in the months after giving birth.
LEIA Co-founder and CEO Astrid Gyllenkrok Kristensen shares, “While you are pregnant, everyone is asking you how you are or how they can help. However, from the moment you give birth, the focus shifts from the mother to the child, which can make it difficult for women to get the care and support they need during the fourth trimester. Hardly any personalized, evidence-based information is available and the fear of ‘being a bad mother’ keeps many from asking for help.”
To address this issue, LEIA is building “the world’s first postpartum tracker” to help new parents navigate the postpartum time. The mobile app asks users questions and invites them to log physical and mental well-being. Based on shared information, women receive personalized, fact-based information, data-driven insights about their health, and tools to change things for the better when needed. Information can also be shared with a midwife for a more personalized care experience. By digitizing screening models for postnatal depression and other complications, the app also helps identify high-risk women much earlier and refer them to the relevant expert.
A pilot earlier in 2022 with Sweden’s best maternity hospital showed that 90% of mothers thought the app was valuable and 90% would recommend the clinic based on their partnership with LEIA. Since its launch in 2022, LEIA has identified twice as many women at risk of postpartum depression than the current average.
Gyllenkrok Kristensen explains, “LEIA provides digital support to prepare and help new mothers feel informed, safe and empowered throughout their motherhood journey. The lack of collected data on postpartum problems is a huge barrier to the provision of preventive measures and personalized support. With our app, we are building a unique dataset that will help shape the future of parental health.”
Christian Damsgaard Tost, General Partner at People Ventures, who led the round, added: “LEIA is our first investment in Sweden and we are pleased to welcome them to our portfolio. As a digital health investor, we are very excited to see an innovative solution to a global and growing problem. The LEIA team’s previous experience building and scaling technology, health technology and femtech companies gives them a strong foundation to deliver on their mission to build the future of postpartum and parental health.”