Please welcome Twig Fertility as the latest addition to the Rhino Crash!
Zach Shapiro (CEO), Tanner Kohara (President and Executive Chairman) & Doctor Rhonda Zwingerman (Medical Director)
There is a growing need for fertility treatment in Canada, where an estimated 1 in 6 couples now struggle with infertility. This figure has more than doubled since the 1980s and, compared to peer nations, Canada has the lowest penetration rate for fertility treatment, representing strong opportunities to expand care.
The current demand for fertility services well exceeds the supply, with clinics often managing months-long waitlists. Due to the persistent underserved demand, existing clinics often let patient experience fall by the wayside, focusing on volume in unwelcoming, sterile atmospheres, with poor patient communication and archaic technology. Despite the underwhelming patient experience, fertility treatment is expensive. For example, each cycle of In Vitro Fertilization (“IVF”) sets patients back $15,000 - $20,000+ (including medication), with multiple cycles often required for a successful outcome. Public insurance coverage is lacking or entirely non-existent, depending on the province, and with only ~5% of Canadians having access to private insurance coverage for fertility care, treatment is inaccessible for many.
Driven by the mission to improve the convoluted fertility care system, Twig Fertility has introduced a new method of personalized and outcome-driven fertility care. Frustrated by the industry status quo, the Twig team has reimagined the fertility journey with two rarely discussed metrics as their north star: the time and cost required to achieve family-building goals. To accomplish this, Twig has built a new state-of-the-art facility, which includes a fertility clinic, lab & pharmacy, and incorporates the latest technological developments to drive superior patient outcomes in a physical space thoughtfully designed around a personalized, compassionate patient experience.
Since opening its first facility in midtown Toronto in early 2022, Twig has added 4 Reproductive Endocrinologists (“REIs”) to its roster and has seen over 1,500 patients. As awareness of and demand for fertility care increases, employers are beginning to recognize the importance of offering fertility coverage to attract and retain employees. With only ~5% penetration of fertility benefits, there is much headroom to improve coverage and reduce financial barriers to fertility treatment (a trend we have seen in the US market).
We have a deep conviction in Twig’s founding team. We believe the combination of business leaders, Zach Shapiro & Tanner Kohara, coupled with a leading Reproductive Health expert, Doctor Rhonda Zwingerman, is key to success. They are the right group to build Canada's first national reproductive health practice and we are proud to partner with them.
Rhino is excited to be the largest backer of this ambitious team, tackling such an important and wide-reaching challenge. Their vision for personalized care and dedication to improving patient outcomes addresses a critical need in the Canadian market. Our conviction is underpinned by the tailwinds driving demand for fertility services in Canada, a proven & differentiated patient experience, strong economics, and a fantastic team. We are proud to welcome Twig Fertility to the Rhino Crash.