Give us the elevator pitch. Tell us about your brand.
The twoplus Sperm Guide is an effective, at-home fertility treatment to help increase the chances of natural conception by aiding more sperm to reach the egg. 1-in-7 couples in the UK may have difficulty conceiving according to NHS data. The twoplus Sperm Guide is a small, comfortable device used during sex to help sperm get to the right place and prevents leakage of sperm after sex. Without intervention, less than 1% of sperm reach the egg. The twoplus Sperm Guide has been shown in in-vitro testing to increase the effective sperm count by approximately eight times.
What inspired you to set up your company
My wife and I faced our own problems conceiving. We were excited to start a family together after spending time on our careers. However, the longer the process took, the more frustrated we became. Fertility doctors eventually diagnosed unexplained infertility.
I decided to channel my frustrations into understanding fertility and conception. I was surprised by the lack of a simple and effective home-based solution for couples that also preserved the privacy of the process.
I wanted to ensure couples have alternative options to achieve successful natural conception before or whilst seeking medical intervention. Most of the fertility products out there are focused on fertility tracking or incremental product improvements. None have concentrated on providing new, ground-breaking solutions to improve sperm transport to the egg.
Fertility issues are generally perceived to be a female health problem. However, male factors such as poor sperm count and motility also affect a couple’s ability to conceive. The average man now carries around half as much sperm compared to 40 years ago and most sperm don’t naturally make it very far into the female reproductive tract.
It is a common misconception that only a single sperm is needed to reach the egg for fertilisation to occur. In fact, more than 2 million sperm need to enter the cervix, so that hundreds of sperm can prepare the way for the ‘survivor sperm’ by breaking down the two outer protective layers of the egg. This allows the final sperm to fertilise the egg. The twoplus Sperm Guide maximises the amount of sperm that reaches the egg during sex, but also ensures there is no sperm leakage after sex, thus maximising the chances of natural conception.
What was your biggest challenge in year one
When we started twoplus one of the aims was to reduce the barrier to quality fertility care. twoplus fertility launched mid pandemic and there was a lot of engagement as couples decided to take the opportunity to start a family. Even prior to the pandemic, getting access to fertility help was a challenge, however the pandemic accelerated this further. We therefore had to carefully manage supply and demand at a time when people were searching for alternative solutions more than ever before.
What would you say has been your biggest marketing success
We were able to generate a lot of awareness and education which resulted in sales through social media influencers. They were able to talk about the Sperm Guide and educate their followers, which is an otherwise difficult task since it is a novel device and needs some explanation around how easy it is to use and how it would work.
What has been the biggest mistake you made
We sold out and were understocked in Singapore when we launched our product as we did not anticipate a wide-scale product interest. However, we managed to upscale production fairly quickly and went on to launch in the UK a few months later.
Tell us about your plans for the futureWe are currently developing more products that will soon be ready for launch in the UK. Our longer-term aim is to become a one-stop hub for fertility solutions. We have big ambitions: we want to help 1 million couples conceive over the next 10 years.