First generation, a startup that aims to make IVF and other fertility services more accessible to patients in Asia, is launching its first two clinics in Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur. The company also announced seed funding led by Recharge Capital, which it has incubated, with participation from Thiel Capital, Disney family investment vehicle Shamrock Holdings and Blue Lion Global.
Generation Prime describes itself as the first “full-stack, closed-loop IVF health services clinic” in Southeast Asia, meaning IVF services will be provided through digital and physical channels, starting with initial consultations and including freezing of eggs and sperm, diagnosis, testing, IVF and surrogacy. The clinics expect to serve both patients who live locally and those who come from other countries, such as China, for fertility services.
Generation Prime plans to open a total of 15 clinics in Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore over the next three years. Lorin Gu, one of the founders of Recharge Capital, said the company created Generation Prime because people in Asia want options and flexibility for family planning, but often don’t have access to fertility services in the countries where they live.
“In Asia and Southeast Asia, the different legal structures have created a very fragmented industry,” he said. He added that studies show that by 2045, nearly half of couples are expected to use IVF to start their families. “Despite these markers, female health issues accounted for only 1% of pharmaceutical research funding in 2020.”
Generation Prime expects about 70% of its customers to be medical tourists from China and 30% to be local patients. “This is not because local patients are not actively using IVF services, but mainly because of China’s huge population and the unmet demands that exist in the country,” Gu said. “In addition, China does not allow many of the IVF procedures currently desired by patients seeking more robust family planning services, and as a result, a large number of patients have been pushed into the Southeast Asian market.”