Investors are going all in on these femtech products

The femtech industry hit $16 billion in total funding this summer.
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You may not be familiar with the term “femtech,” which menstrual health app Clue’s founder Ida Tin coined in 2016, but investors are starting to get hip to it—and throwing money its way.

Femtech—which hit $16 billion in total industry funding this summer per a FemTech Analytics report, up 15% from December 2021—is technology focused on the health needs of cisgender women, as well as people who have similar health needs and identify as transgender or nonbinary. Examples of femtech include menstrual products, gynecological devices, and fertility solutions.

Though this uptick in investment marks significant progress, funding for women’s digital health companies still made up just 7% of total US digital health funding from January to August 2021, according to a report from venture fund Rock Health.

“The women’s health and sexual health space is massively underserved. And it’s only recently with a new demographic of venture capitalists that we’re seeing investments go toward other areas besides fertility,” said Carli Sapir, founding partner at Amboy Street Ventures, a venture fund dedicated to women’s health and sexual health startups.

So, what types of women’s health tech are attracting investor dollars?

Virtual care

Several hybrid telehealth and brick-and-mortar healthcare models have been popping up in recent years, Sapir said.

The healthcare provider Tia, which was founded in 2017 and is headquartered in San Francisco, offers both virtual and in-person care to cisgender and trans women as well as nonbinary people. The company raised $100 million in a Series B round in 2021.

Fertility and family-building healthcare provider Kindbody, founded in 2018 and headquartered in New York City, offers fertility services both virtually and in-person. The company raised $62 million in a Series C round in 2021, which it says is the largest-ever fundraise for a fertility company.

Several virtual services aimed at supporting menopause care are also attracting dollars, like Elektra Health, Gennev, and Evernow, according to Rock Health research. Elektra Health and Gennev are both digital platforms that offer education and support for menopause, and Evernow additionally offers prescription delivery for menopause medications. Digital health companies focused on perimenopause and menopause care raised $79 million from 2019 to 2021, per Rock Health.

Digital therapeutics

Women’s health is “a growing field within digital therapeutics,” according to Rock Health. Digital therapeutics are software programs made to help people treat and manage medical conditions, or prevent them altogether.

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One such company is Natural Cycles, a birth control app that received FDA approval in 2018. The Natural Cycles app tracks the user’s fertility status based on their body temperature. The company raised a total of $38 million as of January 2020, according to Insider.

Renovia Inc, producer of the Leva digital pelvic floor exercise tool that received FDA approval in 2019, raised $17 million in a Series C funding round in 2021, following a $42.3 million Series B round in 2018.

Medical devices

Medical devices created to treat women’s health needs are another area drawing in investor dollars.

Trish Costello, founder and CEO of Portfolia, a venture investing platform focused on women, said Portfolia’s Femtech Fund invested in Bone Health Technologies. The medical device creator introduced the OsteoBoost device in 2020, which applies vibration to the hips and spine to improve bone strength for people who lose bone mass as they age.

Amboy Street Ventures invested $1 million in medical device company Contraline at the beginning of 2022. Adam, the company’s innovative birth control implant for sperm bearers, involves injecting hydrogel into the vas deferens (Google it!) to create the effect of a temporary vasectomy. There’s also YourChoice Therapeutics, a startup making a nonhormonal birth control pill for people who produce sperm, which raised $15 million in a Series A round in July.

While birth control for men may not sound like a type of women’s health tech, it would take the burden off people who can become pregnant—traditionally cisgender women—who bear the disproportionate responsibility for birth control, Sapir said.

Willow, a company that created a wearable breast pump, raised $81.8 million in Series C funding in 2021.

“If you look at investment dollars this year [...] a lot more than ever has gone to Series A and seed stage,” said Chris Moniz, a market manager in Silicon Valley Bank’s healthtech and devices segment. “I think that’s a signal that this isn’t going away and that people are really diving [into] new, innovative technologies.”

Navigate the healthcare industry

Healthcare Brew covers pharmaceutical developments, health startups, the latest tech, and how it impacts hospitals and providers to keep administrators and providers informed.