After raising $2.4 million in a pre-seed round, Aster, a company co-founded by sisters Fifi Kara and Dr. Lailah Kara-Newton, will continue transforming prenatal and postnatal care nationwide.

Founded in 2023 and inspired by Dr. Kara-Newton’s experience with undiagnosed preeclampsia during the birth of her son, Aster is a platform focused on offering safe and simple maternal health care. This means providing clear communication, easy access, and trusted clinical guidance, according to its website. The company has already partnered with clinics in several states.

As reported by Axios, an important feature of the platform is regular monitoring with the collection of vital health metrics such as blood pressure, heart rate, blood glucose, and urinalysis testing.

The latest funding round, which was led by Cake Ventures, also included participation from Zeal Capital Partners (BBFI), Cornerstone, Octopus Ventures (FCF), Blueprint, Everywhere Ventures, and select angel investors, per the outlet. 

“If you solve for the most marginalized groups, you can solve for everyone,” Monique Woodard, founder of Cake Ventures, said.  

She continued, “Aster is going after smaller and independent clinics who were not sucked up into a big network and that is good for long term impact for maternal and prenatal health care across the country.” 

Per Femtech Insider, the company originally focused on midwifery-led care, birth centers, and nurse practitioner-led care. Practitioners from the private pilot period included Oak Village Midwifery in California, The Birthing Place in New York, and Strength in You OB/GYN in Maryland, among others.

However, the company will expand its reach to include OB/GYN providers in the coming months. Axios says the new funds will also enable Aster to scale operations out of the pilot phase, recruit key operational roles, and provide nationwide availability. 

The company has onboarded 30 clinics and intends to work with over 100 providers, serving approximately 20,000 patients, by the end of 2024.  

In addition to communication tools offered to provide the most effective care for all women, the app will also add transcription services to easily record conversations between patients and physicians, according to Axios. This feature will allow for a more inclusive and collaborative for new and expectant parents. 

Per Femtech Insider, Aster offers cutting-edge technology for enhanced clinical administration management and expanded practice capabilities.

The company also provides crucial support to providers and patients in remote areas that would benefit from Aster’s telehealth and virtual communication features. Aster is onboarding clinics in Alaska, Alabama, and Ohio that have recently registered for the upcoming beta program. 

Ultimately, the most important feature of the app is the ability to provide consistent and comprehensive care management to patients.

“Pregnancy complications cost the U.S. $54 billion per year and 80% are avoidable,” Fifi Kara told Femtech Insider. “Our company was founded because of a personal experience. My sister and nephew had an incredibly scary birth and we were all deeply inspired to change what could and should have been prevented for future mothers.”