According to Forbes, only 10% of global investment goes to female-led startups — that’s horrendous — but, today, we’re going to let positivity win.
Research firm Frost & Sullivan forecasts the women’s health market to reach $50B by 2025 — an industry (for better or worse) that is making a name for itself as “femtech.”
The femtech industry is currently made up of at least 200 startups globally that focus on women’s health, and are primarily female led and founded.
The term encompasses a subset of apps and gadgets that focus on amplifying a woman’s well-being, from hormone tracking birth control apps to female-targeted condoms.
Or, for example, Elvie, a company that recently launched a wireless breast pump (a product that New Zealand’s prime minister said “made it possible” to do her job only 6 weeks after giving birth).
There have been some snags…
Most notably around Natural Cycles, a contraceptive tracking app, after 37 users became pregnant while using the apps. Months later its advert touting its “highly accurate” service was pulled from Facebook in the UK after it was deemed misleading by the advertising standards agency.
Luckily, that hasn’t stopped the industry from rolling: The hormone tracking app, Moody Month, and the ovulation calculator Flo Health both recently clocked in at $200m valuations.
Is women’s health finally getting a fair shake in tech?
Let’s not count our eggs before they hatch, but, according to The Guardian, developers in femtech are confident the growing industry will continue to bring more women into the scientific research fields and break down taboos around the needs of the female body.
Meanwhile, venture firms are starting to invest more meaningfully in women’s health and wellness startups, including Portfolia, the world’s first femtech-specific fund (financed by nearly all female investors), which expects to invest nearly $4m in 6 femtech startups this year.