Why we Invested in Juniper’s Pre-Seed

Insurtech Gateway are delighted to lead the £1.5m Pre-Seed funding round in Juniper, with participation from 2100 Ventures, Exceptional Ventures, Heartfelt Ventures and strategic angels. 

In a continuously evolving landscape of digital health solutions, startups which seem to be showing the strongest growth trajectories are those that have identified genuine consumer pull with seamless integration. An initial exploratory conversation with Ambra a few months ago soon turned into the realisation that she was building Juniper to be exactly that. Completely re-assured by the arrival of Sam as a technical co-founder, we were convinced they were the ideal duo to bring this idea to life.

What does Juniper do?

Juniper is a UK-based B2B employee benefit looking to offer reproductive health insurance cover providing comprehensive coverage for all genders and life stages. Structured as an MGA, they make it easy for companies and their employees to access a full suite of benefits offered as private medical insurance.

Their long-term vision is to cover all aspects of reproductive health.

Examples of planned coverage includes contraception, genetics testing, hormonal health and blood tests, endometriosis, chronic pelvic pain and egg freezing. With close parallels to dental services which are offered from UK employers, Juniper plans to offer different pricing tiers for coverage across a range of these treatments through insurance brokers.

What got us excited

  • Remarkable co-founding team led by Ambra and Sam (more on that below)
  • Market validation of product need. Conducted >100 interviews with HR departments, benefits brokers, Insurers and end users. All of this led to the same recurring feedback – employees and HR teams are asking for full medical coverage and assistance in reproductive health, not just employee benefit services
  • First version of the pricing model has been built with the former head of technical pricing at AXA
  • Advanced conversations with broker channels, and a pipeline of insurers
  • Despite being Pre-Seed, Juniper has already secured LoI’s with multiple employers

Execution focused Pre-Seed founders

Our Pre-Seed / Seed thesis over-indexes on team, team and team. Suffice to say that Ambra and Sam more than ticked this box. With a relentless hunger deriving from personal experiences facing the problem first-hand, and distinct skill sets  harnessed from previous roles, we were impressed. Aside from the evident speed of execution, their credentials spoke volumes too. 

  • Ambra was previously an Investment Banker at Goldman Sachs in M&A Industrials, and private equity investor at Eurazeo focused in tech and financial services. 
  • Sam most recently led Engineering Innovation within Brit Insurance, the second largest commercial insurer at Lloyd’s of London – focused on moving outdated insurance operations to a data-led process. Prior to this, he was the Head of Engineering at Gaia, the first direct-to-consumer IVF insurance startup.

It was clear they had the ability to operate at the speed and execution required of a startup, while understanding the inner workings of large insurance firms.

Ambra Zhang, CEO, and Sam Pratt, CPTO, co-founded Juniper Insurtech Gateway Portfolio

Market opportunity

Despite its importance to individual well-being and societal health, reproductive health services frequently encounter coverage gaps in traditional incumbent models. UK companies are gradually waking up to the level of demand for help: from financial help for egg or sperm freezing, IVF, adoption and surrogacy, to paid leave and counselling. The majority of financial support however only comes from Silicon Valley and Wall Street firms: Spotify gives employees up to £40,000, Apple and Meta subsidise egg freezing for London staff up to a reported £16,000; law firm Cooley offers £45,000 and Goldman Sachs provides £15,500 towards treatments. Approximately 70% of millennials would change their job to ensure they have fertility coverage, with reports that 53% would stay longer with their employer if they covered the cost of treatment.


The reproductive health market offers a fertile ground for innovation (pun intended). Changing global health trends and the recognition of reproductive health as a fundamental human right has highlighted the need for accessible and comprehensive care. It’s been a delight getting to know Ambra and Sam during this investment process, and I’m glad to say the Juniper journey has just begun.

Get In Touch

If you have founded a Pre-Seed / Seed insurtech and are looking for support and funding – or maybe you just have an idea that you would like to chat through – we have the experience and toolkit to help you get to market faster. Check out our incubator and venture fund.