Five tips from growing startup Health in Her Hue on how to raise funding

BY Preta Peace Namasaba January 11, 2024 7:56 PM EDT
Ashlee Wisdom. Photo credit: Health in Her HUE

Health in Her HUE, a Black woman led startup has raised $3 million in a seed round. The digital platform connects Black women and women of color to culturally sensitive healthcare providers and offers health information and content that centers their lived experiences so as to reduce racial health disparities. It was founded in 2018 by Ashlee Wisdom.

The company will use the funding to expand its products and programs such as its current Care program and adding new topics such as fertility, postpartum recovery, and endometriosis to the platform. Wisdom found this particular round to be especially challenging as she had to focus on both fundraising and revenue. Health in Her HUE has raised $4.2 million in funding till date.

Companies led by Black women typically receive less than 1% of all venture capital funding, these five tips Health in Her Hue will guide your fundraising journey.

1. Address an existing challenge
Health in Her HUE was built during a harzardous time for women’s health, especially Black women who still face medical discrimination. Contemporary medicine has been riddled with misconceptions and myths about Black people that have led to their medical mistreatment. With many many Black people being distrustful of medical systems, Health in Her HUE sought to bridge the gap. It connects women of color with healthcare providers and content that can better address their needs with a potential client base of over 43 million women of color in the US.

“It was too apparent to me that the healthcare system is precarious for women who look like me and I couldn’t just sit with that realization; I felt compelled to sound the alarm, while also building a solution,” Wisdom said of her inspiration to found Health in Her HUE.

2. Possess expert knowledge
Not only does Wisdom have experience with the inadequacies in the existing system, but she is also an expert in public health. She earned a Bachelor of Science from Howard University, and a Master of Public Health with a focus in Healthcare Policy & Management from New York University. Wisdom managed a large-scale clinical trial at Weill Cornell Medicine, worked for a Federally Qualified Health Center and served as the Assistant Director of Grants Management in the Office of Population Health at NYC Health + Hospitals. She is the authority on the unique healthcare needs of women of color.

3. Show impact
Since its founding, Health in Her HUE has grown to nearly 13,000 members. It has 1,300 health providers across 60 specialties, from therapy to chiropractic on its platform. The company has developed its Care Squad program, built an app and launched a web experience. Such impact and capacity for growth attracts funding.
“Health in Her HUE is uniquely positioned to address the existing racial health disparities and connect our members with providers who are committed to hearing and understanding their unique lived experiences while providing quality care accordingly,” Wisdom says of the platform’s impact via TechCrunch.

4. Leverage engagement
Wisdom discovered a core component of the platform, community while carrying out a survey to inform product roadmap. Health In Her Hue built a strong and loyal community from sharing content on social media. This put the startup in prime position to drive significant engagement with a new product, a directory of Black healthcare providers and practitioners. The company has learnt a lot from the community, building on the momentum and leveraging the engagement to bring in more funding.

5. Build valuable partnerships
Health In Her HUE has used the power of partnerships to reach more people and bring in funds. It has part partnered with The Honey Pot Co, Aveeno’s Skin Visibility Program, and the Center for Antiracism Research for Health Equity at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health. Its collaboration with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota provides free access to the digital platform and allows women to join Health In Her HUE’s Virtual Care Squad experience.