March 31, 2021
Early femtech pioneer Ida Tin, who founded Berlin-based menstrual tracking app Clue, coined the term FemTech back in 2016. Today we use it to refer to a rapidly growing industry of startups and companies designed to research, innovate and support women’s health.
Want to see who's leading the charge? Here are 14 cutting-edge femtech startups of 2021 who are emerging in this thriving she-conomy.
Read Your Body is a menstrual cycle charting app created by an all-female, non-profit organisation – The Body Literacy Collective – based in the UK. The app is 100% crowdfunded by users in the fertility awareness (FAM) community. The key features include i.a. full data privacy, user-controlled chart interpretations and an automated Tempdrop integration.
inne is a Berlin-based startup who created the first hormone-based mini lab which indicates and tracks fertility and ovulation based on saliva. In 2019 they landed €8 million in a Series A funding round led by Blossom Capital. Founder and CEO Eirini Rapti calls this new form of science-based digital contraception a radical self-knowledge tool for all the phases in a woman’s life.
Ava is a digital healthcare company from Switzerland who created the first FDA-cleared fertility tracking wearable. This machine learning device tracks physiological parameters to predict and recognise a woman’s ovulation days. They have raised over $42 million in funding to expand their business into other aspects of female health.
OUI is an innovative contraceptive created by Copenhagen-based startup Cirqle Biomedical. Their mission is to develop a next-generation contraceptive technology through mucus engineering, to replace hormonal birth control as the go-to option for women. They secured Pre-Seed Funding of $1.8 million for pre-clinical development in 2019.
FEMNA is a female-led telemedicine startup based in Berlin who rethink women's health in Germany and offer diagnostics, advice and solutions online. Founder Maxie Matthiessen wanted to create more equality around health issues for German women, who often feel they are not getting enough advice from their doctors.
Perifit is a startup from Paris who launched a wireless Kegel trainer through crowdfunding and turned exercising into playing games. The wearable is connected to a smartphone and designed to help women strengthen their pelvic floor muscles by controlling video games with their Kegels. Playing Flappy Bird was never more fun!
Bellabeat is a holistic health tech startup from Silicon Valley who manufactured smart jewellery that tracks women's wellness. Their subscription based data-driven wearable can offer personalised coaching programs and fitness, mindfulness, nutrition, health, beauty, and lifestyle information. In 2021 they have set up a $10 million fund to research postnatal depression.
OrganiCup was founded almost a decade ago in Copenhagen and grew to be not only an award-winning menstrual cup, but also a platform to spread awareness around the environmental, cultural and social impact of menstrual products. They launched a project named “Taboo: Global Periods” to uncover the implications of menstruation in the lives of teenagers around the globe.
Thinx is a New York based feminine hygiene company who developed period-proof underwear to replace pads and tampons, fully funded via Kickstarter. From 2020 until now they have launched a campaign to advocate for menstrual equity, empowered women in developing countries through purposeful partnerships, secured a $25 million funding for their thought-provoking brand campaigns and will launch an affordable underwear line for mass retailers.
Daye is a London-based startup that is bridging the gap in female health by product innovation and trying to help women suffering from period pain. They newly developed a tampon that uses CBD to help tackle period cramps (or dysmenorrhea) as an alternative to traditional painkillers.
Elvie is a UK-based maker creating the first silent wearable breastfeeding pump and award-winning Kegel trainer, bringing women's technology out of the dark ages. Having raised a record-breaking $53,8 million since 2013, it is one of the most successful femtech startups over the past decade.
Velmio is an Estonian startup who usually focuses on developing a pregnancy health app that combines AI with lifestyle tracking to deliver personalized advice to expectant mothers. During the COVID-19 pandemic, they joined the Estonian Hack the Crisis hackathon and launched a coronavirus tracker which estimates the users risk level.
branayama is a Berlin-based startup who is currently being crowdfunded through Kickstarter to launch their sustainable nursing bra which replaces nursing pads. Founder Stefanie Raffelsieper wanted to innovate the outdated system of nursing bras and rethink the old world of maternity wear.
Lia is a women-founded startup who developed the first eco-friendly, discreet, flushable and biodegradable pregnancy test. They have created the first innovative update to the pregnancy test in over 3 decades as a streamlined alternative for wasteful plastic and unnecessary electronics.