“That’s the thing that women find so frustrating,” said Alicia Jackson. “Like, oh my god, do I have to suffer like this the rest of my life?”
Jackson is talking about menopause, predominantly the side effects like hot flashes, mood swings, sleep issues and slower metabolism, which can affect approximately 1.3 million U.S. women a year and can have a serious impact on one’s quality of life, both at home and in the workplace. But she could also be talking about the financial toll.
A comprehensive 2015 study estimated the average cost of managing menopause symptoms, from hormone replacement therapies like estradiol patches and progesterone pills to doctor’s appointments to lost work productivity, at $2,116 per woman per year. That’s more than most people pay annually for their cell phone bills. And menopause symptoms can last, on average, between four and seven years.
Given the emotional, physical and economic toll menopause takes on women, and the dearth of companies that address such costs, Jackson saw an opportunity for something new. So in 2019, she founded Evernow, which offers monthly plans, priced at $75 or $129 a month, that provide telehealth consultations with licensed OB-GYNs as well as prescriptions for estradiol patches or pills and for the antidepressant paroxetine, used to treat hot flashes and fluctuations in sleep quality (costs vary depending on the drug manufacturer).
Last month, Evernow secured $28.5 million in funding from a who’s who of celebrity angel investors, including SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell, Hollywood royals Gwyneth Paltrow, Drew Barrymore and Cameron Diaz, and soccer legend Abby Wambach and her wife, activist and author Glennon Doyle. The Series A round was led by venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates, with participation from 8VC, Refactor Capital, Coelius Capital and others.