Needed, the science-backed prenatal nutrition company, closed a $14 million growth funding round led by responsible consumer investor The Craftory, with additional participation from existing investors Seae Ventures and Crescent Ridge VC.
WHO: Needed was founded in 2017 by two nutritionally trained mothers, Julie Sawaya and Ryan Woodbury, to close the critical gap in perinatal nutrition and set a new science-backed health standard for women, their families, and our Earth. Most perinatal supplements adhere to the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA), which represents the bare minimum nutrient levels needed to avoid a disease condition rather than optimal nutrition. Much of the supporting research excludes pregnant or lactating women and lacks racial and ethnic diversity. These outdated research practices, combined with a lag between research and product development, have led to a crisis in which women’s optimal nutritional needs during their childbearing journey pregnancy and postpartum are not widely accepted or addressed.
Needed Labs aims to revolutionize maternal and infant health through pioneering research challenging prevailing norms with its system of radically better, science-backed nutritional supplements for women in the perinatal stage. The company is a Certified B Corp, 1% for the Planet member, and Climate Neutral Certified.
WHY: Pregnant and lactating women are alarmingly under-researched. The average OB-GYN prenatal appointment lasts just 7 minutes and 97% of women in the US take a prenatal supplement, yet over 95% are still deficient in key nutrients. The funding will accelerate product innovation, content creation, and the launch of Needed Labs, the company’s clinical insights and research arm.
IN THEIR OWN WORDS: “Nutrition is one of the most significant and most overlooked decisions made in the pregnancy journey,” said Julie Sawaya, Needed co-founder and co-CEO. “However, nutrition is often relegated to an afterthought and women are left with more questions than answers about their nutritional needs. What’s more, standard prenatal vitamins are designed to meet just the bare minimums, leaving over 95% of women depleted. Needed is setting a new, radically better standard for perinatal nutrition combining the products, education, and access to nutritional experts that all women need and deserve.”
“Nutrition changes perinatal outcomes. Not just birth outcomes, but fertility, pregnancy, postpartum, and the health trajectory of mom and baby for the rest of their life,” said Ryan Woodbury, Needed co-founder and co-CEO. “Needed Labs is on a mission to develop new data through research and aggregate clinical insights to ensure the impact of proper perinatal nutrition can no longer be ignored in the standard of care. Insights from Needed Labs will also power our product development, keeping us at the cutting edge of perinatal nutrition.”
Jamie Swango, Partner at The Craftory, noted: “This is our first move into Women's Health, a category that deserves more investment. Needed is uniquely positioned to challenge the failed status quo and improve health outcomes for women and their families. We are incredibly impressed by Needed’s products, the scale and diversity of their practitioner partnerships, their rigorous, science-backed approach, and Julie and Ryan—strong female founders in a category designed around women’s needs. Needed stands out as a marker of quality, efficacy and trust in a category that needs to do better.”
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