This US-based Kenyan Just Invested in Aster’s $2.4M pre-seed round to improve maternal health


Joseph Kitonga of Vitable Health, whose family immigrated to the U.S. from Kenya when he was just 13, and has raised over $9 million for his company has participated in Aster‘s $2.4M pre-seed round to help improve maternal health.

“We are building the platform to enable women’s health providers to deliver materially better care. In order to achieve this we’ve raised $2.4M from an incredible set of investors who bring  conviction and experience,” said Fifi Kara, Co-founder and CEO of Aster, the all-in-one women’s health patient management platform.

Aster aims to reverse the decades-long downward trajectory of women’s health outcomes by re-designing, and rebuilding the underlying stack that powers women’s health. The platform addresses the maternal care process from conception to delivery to post-partum to improve patient outcomes. Pregnancy and birth have become complicated and at times traumatic in the U.S with the CDC reporting that up to 80% of all pregnancy complications leading to maternal death could be avoided. Aster wants to stop that.

Founded in June 2023, by sisters, Fifi Kara, Lailah Kara-Newton and MD, Andrew Q. Tran, Aster covers midwifery-led care, birth centers, and nurse practitioner-led care and is adding OB/GYN providers on its platform too. It has already onboarded 30 clinics in multiple U.S. states, including California and Texas. This year, the firm aims to work with 20,000 patients or more in the $100 billion maternal and infant market and over a hundred providers.

“We founded Aster to improve maternal health outcomes,”saidFifi. “We do this by helping women’s health providers to manage, grow and scale their practices. Our solution improves clinical outcomes and enables practices to remain competitive and independent in the ever-changing landscape of healthcare. We find it important that we initially focused on maternal health providers across the U.S.”

Aster knows that women’s healthcare outcomes, especially during pregnancy and childbirth, are getting increasingly worse in the U.S. The landscape of maternal healthcare is increasingly fragmented, at the same time there has been incredible advancements in healthcare which can be capitalized on to improve this space. The platform therefore unifies the tech stack, creating an end-to-end system of care for both providers and patients and providers are equipped to materially change outcomes and grow their practices.”

According to Myla Flores, founder of The Birthing Place, “As maternal health providers we are always looking to improve our client’s experiences and provide better outcomes and experiences for expectant mothers and their babies. We have been waiting for a solution like Aster – it supports our clinical team’s workflow tremendously so we can give our clients the world class care we strive for and they deserve.”‍

The firm is also already working with a number of clinics across the U.S. from Fifi’s hometown California to Texas, New York, Ohio, Alabama and more and will continue to expand across the country in 2024. Some of the providers already using the platform include practitioners like Oakland Village Midwifery in California, Bloom Maternal Health in Texas, The Birthing Place in New York, In Bloom Midwifery in California and Strength in You OB/GYN in Maryland, various clinics in Alaska, Alabama and Ohio.

The investors include Cake Ventures, Cornerstone VC, Zeal Capital Partners, BBFI, Sterling Road, Octopus Ventures, FCF, Blueprint Ventures, Everywhere Ventures’s The XX Fund, Sylvia Kuyel, Jenny Fielding & Scott Hartley and The Council with participation of Black Angels Group, Y&Z Ventures Joseph Kitonga of Vitable Health, Gwendolyn Whitney   Rachel Tsui, JT Trollman, Swapna Joshi, Tim Wong, Marcy Regaldo, Shruti Challa and many more. 

Monique Woodard, General Partner of Cake Ventures, said: “I invest in founders who want to deliver innovation to large, legacy industries like healthcare, and solve the biggest problems for future generations.. The state of maternal health in the United States is disturbing and urgent. With the highest maternal mortality rate among high-income countries, it is unacceptable that pregnancy for American women can still feel like a dangerous undertaking, and the data shows that the situation is even worse for Black women. The Aster team are the right founders to tackle this important problem through technology and personal experience.”

Kitonga’s Vitable Health is an on-demand healthcare coverage company that provides acute and preventative coverage to the 40 million uninsured and 38 million under-insured Americans. Vitable Health he business has rethought how healthcare should work by vertically integrating acute care. Vitable sends Board-Certified providers either directly to members’ homes/places of work or via telemedicine, providing a transformative healthcare experience and dramatically lowering the cost of providing acute and preventative care.