New York-based startup, BBy, has raised $3M in seed funding round led by the Pioneer Fund. This capital injection also features a substantial investment from Y Combinator and other notable investors such as 7G Bioventures and Cathexis Ventures. BBy has also drawn the attention of Y Combinator alumni, securing more than $500K for its mission to transform breast milk storage and administration in hospitals.
“For decades hospitals have devoted some of its limited nursing resources to managing and defrosting precious donor breast milk–which is very fragile and requires particular care–so it won’t spoil and get ruined,” said Dr. Vansh Langer, BBy CEO. “The defrosting process is a tedious and hours-long process; realistically one NICU nurse per day just oversees that work. We are on a mission to provide hospitals with shelf-stabilized and condensed human milk that is easy to store and reconstitute, so nurses can devote their skills to important and critical infant care.”
“This technology is a game changer for hospitals. Clinical data confirms that the nutrition for these infants is every bit as good and as easy to digest as breast milk that has never been condensed,” said Dr. Blanca Aguilar Uscanga, BBy Head of Science. “Our process proudly keeps breast milk, breast milk. Nothing added and nothing removed.”
The United States spends an estimated $12 billion annually on the procurement and management of breast milk. Costs per ounce range from $9 to $15, making it a significant expense for healthcare providers. This is the gap BBy seeks to bridge, offering a shelf-stable solution for breast milk that has the potential to save hospitals millions of dollars monthly in labor costs.
Since its inception in 2017 by Vansh Langer, BBy has been committed to providing an innovative alternative to a 70-year-old process that requires freezing and long defrosting times for donor milk. By eliminating extensive manual handling and the need for specialized storage facilities, hospitals can repurpose resources and focus on critical patient care.
BBy’s innovative process transforms breast milk into powder without losing essential nutrients. This is achieved using a unique system that employs a computer program and laser technology to monitor the weight and temperature of the milk during the drying process, ensuring vital substances are preserved.
Packaged into convenient aluminum packets, this condensed breast milk is delivered bi-weekly to Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs). Nurses can easily reconstitute the milk with water, utilizing only the required amount, thus reducing waste. BBy has successfully implemented this technology in eight regional processing facilities close to its partner hospitals.
BBy’s state-of-the-art two-factor laser works in tandem with commercial condensers to constantly monitor and adjust the weight and temperature of the breast milk during processing. This maintains the milk in the bioactive zone, resulting in a shelf-stabilized powder that retains all its nutritional and immunological properties.
The company’s approach is already in use at leading research hospitals in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Texas. Each facility processes ten gallons of breast milk twice daily, with the resultant condensed milk having a safe shelf-life of up to six months. With this recent funding, BBy aims to expand its transformative solution to hospitals nationwide.