They say the only constant thing is change, and that is true in the world of tech, too. New technologies get introduced over time, and some become commonplace while others die out. We’ll tackle yet another recently launched concept—femtech. What is femtech? And why is the world abuzz about it?
What Is Femtech?
Simply put, femtech, short for “female technology,” refers to software and technology-enabled diagnostics, products, and services related to women’s health. It includes fertility solutions, period-tracking apps, pregnancy and nursing care, sexual wellness, and reproductive system healthcare.
When Was “Femtech” First Used?
Femtech is a relatively new concept. The term “femtech” was coined by Ida Tin in 2013. If you’re wondering who Tin is, she is the Danish entrepreneur who founded Clue. Clue is a period- and fertility-tracking app used by more than 8 million women.
Since then, the femtech industry was born to encompass any digital or standard health tools specifically for women’s use. These tools include wearables, Internet-connected medical devices, mobile apps, hygiene products, and more.
How Has Femtech Fared So Far as an Industry?
As mentioned earlier, femtech as an industry traces its beginnings to the launch of Clue around eight years ago. Tin saw the massive potential in focusing on women’s healthcare needs when it came to technological development. Females, after all, made up half of the world’s population.
Six years after Clue’s introduction, what we now refer to as the femtech industry generated US$820.6 million in revenue worldwide. It has also received US$592 million in venture capital (VC) investment. As of 11 November 2021, there are close to 800 femtech companies with US$15.2 billion in capital. Take a look at more interesting femtech statistics below.
The stats above show how much femtech has grown in just the past eight years. There are several reasons for that.
What Factors Are Driving Femtech Growth?
Here’s a list of reasons why femtech has been growing:
- Rise in female representation: The biggest femtech growth driver could be the increasing number of recognized women in the VC industry. This fact, coupled with growing awareness and acceptance of women’s health issues, could have led to the sector’s boom.
- Increased visibility: Several big femtech deals occurred in 2021, which were much-talked-about. The greater visibility spurred the establishment of more startups, spurring the femtech industry’s growth as well.
- More in-depth research: Even though most of today’s femtech products focus on reproductive health, analysts believe new approaches to women’s health research will give way to the development of new products and services, leading to even more investment opportunities. Some companies are, in fact, working on various technologies now that focus on women-specific ailments like ovarian cancer.
What Are Some Popular Femtech Examples?
Hundreds of companies are currently engaged in projects targeting the femtech market. Here are three of them:
Ava targets women trying to get pregnant and want to increase their chances of conceiving. It is a sensor bracelet worn at night to measure nine physiological parameters and predict when the wearer’s next fertile window and ovulation will occur.
Bloomlife develops prenatal care solutions to improve the health of moms and babies. Its products include pregnancy-specific wearables that collate and process data to reassure moms and give doctors a means to predict and manage pregnancy-related complications.
Flo.Health’s Flo artificial intelligence (AI)-powered health platform provides accurate menstrual cycle predictions, personalized daily health insights, and a means to connect with a community of experts and peers.
There are tons more, of course, typically backed by well-known femtech figures like Sarah Kunst, Marsha Drokova, Brianne Kimmel, and more. You can check out the VC Female Founders Dashboard for more information.
While femtech has gained a certain level of success despite its short life span, which makes it matter, the industry has received criticism. Some argue that it’s not inclusive, sexist, and excludes trans-men. Femtech also focused more on women’s health, but what about lifestyle?
There will always be opposing views but for now, let’s just see how femtech will evolve as technologies always do.