Serena Williams and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban were among an elite group of venture capitalists who invested in Mahmee, a Black-owned healthcare startup aimed at fixing the Black maternal mortality crisis.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Black mothers are three to four times more likely to die during childbirth than any other race. Williams personally shared her harrowing experience giving birth last year. After delivering her daughter, Olympia, she experienced a blood clot, but was not initially believed by the hospital staff and nearly died.
Beyoncé also revealed how she nearly died during an emergency C-section while giving birth to her twins, Sir and Rumi.
Beyoncé's and Serena’s delivery stories are just two examples of what millions of Black mothers face every year, which is why Melissa Hanna created Mahmee.
Mahmee allows healthcare providers to share care plans, health records, and babies' care options with new and expecting parents. Black mothers will be able to track their own health as well as their baby’s health records on a personalized dashboard on the app.
“In the maternity healthcare process, on the surface, there are generally three or four people involved: the mother, the baby, and each of their physicians. What we don’t see are the many other people helping them: nurses, lactation consultants, midwives, nutritionists, therapists, doulas, home health aides, social workers, and more,” Melissa Hanna, CEO and co-founder of Mahmee, said in a statement.
“And this industry is lacking the IT infrastructure needed to connect these professionals from different organizations to each other and to follow and monitor patients across practices and health systems. This missing element creates gaps in care. Mahmee is the glue that connects the care ecosystem and closes the gaps.”
Williams, who invested in the app through her company Serena Ventures, said a health platform such as Mahmee is “critical” for new mothers of color.
“I am incredibly excited to invest and partner with Mahmee, a company that personifies my firm’s investment philosophy,” Williams said in a statement. “Given the bleak data surrounding maternal death and injury rates, I believe that it is absolutely critical right now to invest in solutions that help protect the lives of moms and babies. Mahmee’s data-driven approach is the right solution to one of the most significant problems in the system: that of fragmented care.”
Cuban, who has acquired a billion-dollar fortune by investing in tech startups, praised the Mahmee for creating “tech solution” to a legitimate and deadly problem.
“My investment reflects my confidence in the strength of this team, and the value of their mission: to fill a major gap in the existing health care system that very few others are tackling," the Shark Tank co-host said in a statement. "This tech solution is helping usher in the future of maternity health care."
Other groups that invested in Mahmee include Cross Culture Ventures, Acumen America, The Helm, Bumble Fund, and several others.
(Photo: Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Sports Illustrated)