Five Women-Led FemTech Startups
For centuries, women have had a different experience with healthcare systems than men. In recent years, we are seeing a growing awareness of the global female healthcare gap that reflects gender disparities in health outcomes and access to healthcare services.
This gap exists for several reasons, including systemic barriers limiting women’s access to healthcare, a lack of research and clinical trials focusing on women’s health concerns, and gender biases within the healthcare system. Societal expectations and gender roles also impact women’s healthcare experiences and decisions.FemTech is an exciting healthcare sector gaining momentum with new companies developing innovative solutions to address women's health issues. Click To Tweet
FemTech refers to technology solutions for women’s health and wellness needs. Many of these startups have women founders and leadership.
The charts below from McKinsey show the growth of the sector over four different variables – articles published, startups, deals, and funding.
The FemTech market size is projected to reach $60 B by 2027. Popular sectors for femtech advanced medical device projects include reproductive health, with devices such as fertility trackers, menstrual cups, and pregnancy monitors. These devices address a range of women’s health concerns, from improving fertility outcomes to increasing access to contraception and reducing menstrual pain.
Other popular sectors for femtech advanced medical device projects include breast health, menopause management, and pelvic health. These devices aim to improve women’s health outcomes by providing innovative solutions to longstanding healthcare challenges while also advancing our understanding of women’s health and promoting greater gender equity in healthcare.
FemTech and Advanced Medical Devices
One of the most promising areas of FemTech’s growth is advanced medical devices. FemTech startups, many led by female-founder teams, are now developing cutting-edge medical devices designed to improve women’s health outcomes. Let’s take a closer look at five innovative, female-led AMD FemTech companies, including brief funding updates from Crunchbase.
Founder Tania Boler
Elvie’s mission is to give women the tools to enable what their bodies have always been capable of across every phase of womanhood.
The company has developed a range of products. One of them is the Elvie Pump, a connected device breast pump that allows mothers to express milk quickly and discreetly without being tethered to a wall outlet or a bulky pump. Elvie is also marketing the Elvie Trainer, a device for improving pelvic floor health.
Elvie’s most recent investment round was closing $15.9 M Series C funding in 2021.
Co-Founders Leila Strickland and Michelle Egger
Biomilq is developing a novel technology that enables breast milk production outside the body. The process involves isolating mammary epithelial gland cells from lactating women and culturing them in a lab to produce breast milk.
Biomilq aims to provide a sustainable and ethical alternative to traditional breastfeeding. The company’s technology has the potential to revolutionize infant nutrition, enabling mothers unable to breastfeed to provide their babies with the nutritional benefits of breast milk and help reduce the carbon footprint of the global infant formula market.
In June 2020, BioMilq raised $3.5 million in Series A funding from Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Bill Gates’s investment firm focused on climate change. In October 2021, they closed on $21 M Series A funding from Novo Holdings.
CEO and Founder Colette Courtion
Joylux is developing technology solutions that address women’s intimate health needs. Joylux has developed a range of products, including the vFit, a non-invasive vaginal rejuvenation device that combines red and infrared light therapy, gentle heat, and sonic technology to improve vaginal health. The vFit is a safe and effective alternative to surgical procedures and is suitable for women of all ages.
Joylux has raised $21.8 M, most recently closing on $5.5 M Series A funding in November 2022.
President and CEO Tracy MacNeal
Mountain View, CA
Materna focuses on developing medical devices that improve maternal health outcomes. Their first product, Milli, is a vaginal and pelvic floor dilator with adjustable, incremental sizing. Milli launched in 2019 with a direct-to-consumer sales approach through e-commerce and healthcare professional referrals. Milli has FDA clearance to alleviate the symptoms of vaginismus and related dyspareunia.
The second product, Materna Prep, is currently in clinical trials. It is an OBGYN device aiming to reduce pelvic floor injuries during childbirth. Materna Prep’s pilot study saw a reduction of pelvic floor injury by 60% for first-time mothers with vaginal delivery.
Materna Medical has raised $37.6 M, most recently closing on $22 M Series B funding in July 2022.
Oriana Papin-Zoghbi, CEO
Alex Fisher, COO
Anna Jeter, CDO
Location: Boston, MA
AOA Dx is developing GlycoLocate, an AI-enabled early-detection cancer platform. They are early movers in the field of glycoliby utilizing tumor marker gangliosides, the next class of biomarkers in early cancer detection. AOA Dx is developing the first technology using these markers with data science to provide new insights into early cancer detection.
Improving women’s health has a beneficial ripple effect on families and societies. At Galen Data, we see the rising interest in FemTech as a welcome addition to the global health scene.
Are you working with a FemTech startup? The Galen team has an informed perspective and collaborative approach based on years of experience working with many different types of startup teams. Feel free to reach out today to get the conversation started.