Woman health startup
Keeping the upcoming Women's Day in mind, its time to talk about women's health, which has long been devoid of technological innovation. But when it comes to fertility options, that's starting to change. Startups in the space are securing hundreds of millions in venture capital investment, a significant increase to the dearth of funding collected in previous years.
Fertility entrepreneurs are focused on a growing market: couples are choosing to reproduce later in life, an increasing number of female breadwinners are able to make their own decisions about when and how to reproduce.
Startups, as a result, are working to improve various pain points in a women's fertility journey, whether that be with new-age brick-and-mortar clinics, information platforms, mobile applications, wearables, direct-to-consumer medical tests or otherwise.
Although the investment numbers are still relatively small (compared to, say, scooters), the trend is up - here's the latest from founders and investors in the space.
Clue, a period and ovulation-tracking app, co-founder and CEO Ida Tin talks at TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin 2017.
This fall, SoftBank, a prolific venture capital firm known for its nearly $100 billion Vision Fund, was investing in Glow, a period-tracking app meant to help women get pregnant. Max Levchin, Glow's co-founder is a well-known member of the PayPal mafia.Femtech, a term coined by Ida Tin, the founder of another period and ovulation-tracking app Clue, is defined as any software, diagnostics, products and services that leverage technology to improve women's health. Femtech, and more specifically the businesses in the fertility and contraception lanes, hasn't made headlines as often as AI or blockchain technology has, for example. Probably because companies in the sector haven't closed as many notable venture deals. That's changing.
The global fertility services market is expected to exceed $21 billion by 2020, according to Technavio. Meanwhile, private investment in the femtech space surpassed $400 million in 2018 after reaching a high of $354 million the previous year, per data collected from PitchBook and Crunchbase. This year already several companies have inked venture deals, including men's fertility business Dadi and Extend Fertility, which helps women freeze their eggs.
Dadi, Extend Fertility and FertilityIQ are among a growing list of startups in the fertility space to crop up in recent years. FertilityIQ, for its part, provides a digital platform for fertility patients to research and review doctors and clinics. The company also collects data and issues reports, which ranked businesses by fertility benefits. Anderson-Bialis launched the platform with his wife, co-founder Deborah Anderson-Bialis, in 2016 after the pair overcame their own set of infertility issues.