Once a year, EU-Startups Summit 2018 celebrates the best of entrepreneurship. This year the date was April 24 and Barcelona was the scenario of a remarkable event that showcased a selection of Europe’s hottest startups to talk about entrepreneurship, innovation, networking and more.
In this edition, over 700 founders, startup enthusiasts, corporate people, angel investors, VCs and media people from all across Europe met at Auditori AXA.
But one of the most exceptional talks was hosted by Ida Tin, a Danish entrepreneur who founded Clue, a period- and fertility-tracking app which has now 10 million users (on both Android and iOS) from 180 different countries. The startup has raised $10 million from backers that include Union Square Ventures and Mosaic Ventures.
But Tin is more well known because she was the person who coined the term FemTech in the market.
Femtech is a term applied to a category of software, diagnostics, products, and services that use technology often to focus on women’s health. The sector primarily addresses women’s health, including fertility solutions, period-tracking apps, pregnancy, nursing care, women’s sexual wellness and reproductive system health care.
With 50% of the global population as target customers and a market potential of $50 billion by 2025, Femtech is hailed as the next big phenomenon in the women’s health market.
Clue, founded in 2012, was created due to the necessity of Tim to have a better understanding of her body and all the processes that it faces everyday. That’s why she abandoned her motorbike tour around the world, finished her book about her experience and created Clue, based in Berlin. “It was an exciting and challenging path, but at the same time it was difficult to raise money, so I have to confess that selling the idea to investors was easier because I have a male founder by mi side,” confessed Tina at the EU – Startups Summit.
She was talking about Hans Raffauf, Mike LaVigne and Moritz von, co-founders of Clue.
Despite the success of this company, there are still some taboos that surrender women’s topics and Femtech is still consider new in the tech area.
Tin believes that breaking down these taboos is the real key to better serving the women of the world: “One of the toughest but also most rewarding things about launching Clue has been to start a conversation about subjects that for so long just weren’t talked about,” she said in an interview with Mercedes-Benz. “Every woman in the world—some half of the world’s population—faces the realities that come with menstruation and fertility, and yet these are topics that have been considered ‘niche’, lacked scientific research and still remain societal taboos in some regions. I’m proud to be part of the femtech space of companies opening up the global dialogue about female health.”
Femtech is emerging in an accelerated way and it is obviously because 49.6% percent of the world population are women. It is more than evident that any invention related to women would be a success. So why has the tech world taken so long to tap into FemTech? The answer is simple: Sillicon Valley is still a world of men: just 6% of all decision-makers at U.S. venture capital firms are women.
If there are few women in decision boards, there will not be any new inventions related to women’s body.
Femtech is still a market at a very nascent stage of growth but its potential is endless, however, the key barrier is that it’s labelled as a niche market, and hence often overlooked as just another product or service in women’s health portfolio.
Of course, the scene is changing and this year is seen as the boom of Femtech. Clue, Bwom, Ava, Maya, Glow, Lola are a few samples that exemplify that idea.
Digital health startups as a whole raised $5.8 billion from investors in 2015 and $3.5 billion in the first two quarters of 2016, according to CB Insights. Recently, the rise of women-led startups focusing on women’s health are attracting more venture capital as time goes by. The last report shows that digital-health companies raised $82 million through the third quarter of 2015, up from $29 million in 2014. Maybe 2018 will be the year that Femtech will boost and will be established as a one of the most important tech niche markets.