Needed Founders Julie Sawaya and Ryan Woodbury. Image: Needed

Needed, a company specializing in science-based perinatal nutrition, has successfully completed a $14M funding round. The investment was led by The Craftory, a consumer-centric investment firm, with additional funds from Seae Ventures and Crescent Ridge VC. This new capital infusion is set to expand Needed’s innovative product range, augment its educational content, and initiate Needed Labs, a new branch dedicated to clinical research and insights.

Since its inception in 2021, Needed has carved out a significant presence in the perinatal nutrition space. It offers an array of products that support various aspects of women’s health, including fertility, lactation, and overall well-being during the perinatal phase. These products are grounded in research and validated by endorsements from a network of over 4,000 women’s health specialists.

Needed’s approach challenges the conventional standards in prenatal nutrition, which typically cover only the basic requirements, often leaving women’s more comprehensive nutritional needs unmet. The company’s ethos is built on establishing a more comprehensive nutritional framework that not only addresses the needs of women but also influences the long-term health of both mothers and their children.

The creation of Needed Labs marks the completion of a next milestone in the company’s mission. This initiative is poised to generate new data, consolidate clinical insights, and thereby reshape the healthcare landscape in terms of perinatal nutrition. The insights gained from Needed Labs are expected to not only inform future product development but also advocate for the incorporation of proper perinatal nutrition into standard healthcare practices.

Needed was founded by two nutritionally-trained mothers, Julie Sawaya and Ryan Woodbury, with a vision to reform perinatal nutrition standards. They aim to address the inadequacies of current perinatal supplements, which are often based on minimal dietary allowances that do not consider optimal nutritional states or the diverse needs of pregnant or lactating women.

“Nutrition is one of the most significant and most overlooked decisions made in the pregnancy journey,” said Julie Sawaya, Needed co-founder and co-CEO. “However nutrition is often relegated to an afterthought and women are left with more questions than answers about their nutritional needs. What’s more, standard prenatal vitamins are designed to meet just the bare minimums, leaving over 95% of women depleted. Needed is setting a new, radically better standard for perinatal nutrition combining the products, education, and access to nutritional experts that all women need and deserve.”

“Nutrition changes perinatal outcomes. Not just birth outcomes, but fertility, pregnancy, postpartum, and the health trajectory of mom and baby for the rest of their life”, said Ryan Woodbury, Needed co-founder and co-CEO. “Needed Labs is on a mission to develop new data through research and aggregate clinical insights to ensure the impact of proper perinatal nutrition can no longer be ignored in the standard of care. Insights from Needed Labs will also power our product development, keeping us at the cutting edge of perinatal nutrition.”

Jamie Swango, Partner at The Craftory noted: “This is our first move into Women’s Health, a category that deserves more investment. Needed is uniquely positioned to challenge the failed status quo and improve health outcomes for women and their families. We are incredibly impressed by Needed’s products, the scale and diversity of their practitioner partnerships, their rigorous, science-backed approach, and Julie and Ryan – strong female founders in a category designed around women’s needs. Needed stands out as a marker of quality, efficacy and trust in a category that needs to do better.”

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