Nearly 150m girls give beginning annually globally, however startup founders say pregnancy-related well being points are nonetheless not being taken severely sufficient by potential buyers.
While the wider femtech market has gained attention in recent times, solely £133m of enterprise capital went into pregnancy-related startups in Europe in 2022, down from £210m the earlier yr, in accordance to PitchBook. That’s a drop within the bucket in comparison to the greater than €91bn invested throughout the area in 2022. Pregnancy-related providers embrace connecting with midwives, and discovering skilled help or postpartum care.
“The majority of VCs are male and until they’ve a spouse or sister who’s gone via one thing, it’s arduous for them to get their head across the scale of the issue. I’ve been instructed quite a few instances they’re area of interest issues,” says Leila Thabet, founding father of Naytal, the UK’s first on-line pregnancy and postnatal clinic.
Thabet’s expertise highlights one of many broader causes pregnancy-related startups have had bother discovering funding: many are based by girls, and ladies have extra problem fundraising. Just 13% of capital in Europe went to startups with no less than one lady cofounder, in accordance to PitchBook.
“People don’t perceive the worth of the market. Women outspend males on this demographic, the truth that we wouldn’t innovate for these girls is mind-blowing,” says Michelle Kennedy, who based girls’s social networking app Peanut after attaining success as deputy CEO of relationship big Badoo.
Victoria Engelhardt, cofounder of Berlin-based Keleya, says it struggled to elevate cash, and when it did it was for a small quantity and a “crappy deal”, which weighed on the entire journey of the startup as a result of it skewed the possession of the corporate. She says the final funding spherical, accomplished in 2021, was a lot simpler as a result of the enterprise already had market recognition and connections to buyers.
But that isn’t placing bold founders off. Here are 10 startups which are innovating within the area of pregnancy, based mostly on discussions with VCs and Sifted’s personal analysis.
Peanut is a social community for ladies based by Kennedy in 2017, when she was a brand new mum who felt underserved in a market filled with apps which are arrange to make life simpler for individuals, from ordering meals to rides. The community lets girls at comparable levels in life — together with pregnancy — join with one another.
The London-based platform raised $12m in 2020 from EQT Ventures, Index Ventures and Female Founders Fund. To date, Kennedy has raised $23m in funding and tells Sifted that she shouldn’t be wanting to elevate extra anytime quickly, as the corporate is capitalised sufficient to maintain going. With the launch of a Pro service, Peanut has began monetising its product final yr by connecting girls with consultants.
Berlin-based Keleya connects girls in Germany with midwives. Engelhardt launched the platform after noticing an enormous shortage in midwives in Germany and a lack of knowledge for ladies. It began providing protected exercises for pregnant girls and has developed to develop into a way more holistic app, offering beginning preparation programs and post-birth assist. The firm has agreements in place with 40 medical insurance suppliers in Germany that cowl its providers, and has began working with the German midwife affiliation, which represents 97% of midwives within the nation.
The firm has raised $3m in whole and closed its final spherical in the summertime of 2021. Engelhardt says that the group is now serious about including a strategic accomplice.
Thabet arrange Naytal with cofounder Lara Russell-Jones in 2021 after going via fertility challenges and a high-risk pregnancy with post-natal issues. She realised then that girls have nowhere to flip to.
“The GP turns into redundant and also you’re reliant on a system that’s stretched, that doesn’t provide you with any help outdoors of the fundamentals,” she says.
“In each different a part of my life I can order a taxi, meals and an outfit [immediately] however making an attempt to clear up any of the well being points similar to breastfeeding challenges or incontinence, all of that, it was impossibly arduous to observe down the correct individuals.”
Naytal is a web based clinic for ladies and secured £300k in pre-seed funding led by Fuel Ventures in 2021. Thabet says it’s now engaged on one other fundraise.
Preglife is predicated in Sweden and lets girls observe their pregnancy — it’s been round since 2010. It obtained an estimated SEK 70m of improvement capital from eEquity in 2019, in accordance to PitchBook. And in 2020, the corporate acquired Bej Technologies, a networking platform for folks.
Paris-based Sonio obtained €10m from the European Innovation Council (EIC) accelerator in December 2022, following a €5m fundraise in the summertime backed by Elaia, OneRagtime and Bpifrance.
The firm was based in 2020 and makes use of synthetic intelligence software program to enhance pre-natal screening and prognosis. The answer is utilized by greater than 250 healthcare suppliers and assists fetal ultrasound practitioners. It will use the extra funding obtained in December to launch new options on the platform.
Founded by Sabrina Badir, Pregnolia produces a medical gadget for the advance detection of untimely births. The Switzerland-based startup raised CHF 4.2m in 2020. The firm was initially funded by the EU, which estimated that preterm births translated into yearly healthcare prices of round €20bn, whereas additionally being the main reason behind toddler mortality.
Based in Spain, Innitius has obtained €3.8m in capital from the EIC Accelerator to work on options to enhance pregnant girls’s well being. Its first product is named Fine Birth, which works on preterm labour prognosis. The startup was launched in 2017 by Rubén Molina, who serves as CEO, and Dr. Francisca Molina.
UK-based Peppy is a B2B digital well being platform arrange to assist staff handle life transitions like pregnancy and parenthood. It provides customers entry to consultants via chats or video consultations. It works with firms together with BNP Paribas, Santander and Clifford Chance. Most not too long ago, it raised a $45m round of debt and fairness to broaden into the US.
Healthtech firm Elvie raised £12.7m in a Series C spherical in 2021, bringing the entire it has raised to date to £70m. It was based in 2013 by Tania Boler, and the corporate has developed a hands-free breast pump for breastfeeding moms in addition to a pelvic flooring coach. Postpartum pelvic flooring points are frequent amongst many ladies after giving beginning, main to issues like urinary incontinence.
The Sweden-based startup simply raised €1.4m in pre-seed funding from People Ventures, Norrsken, Unconventional Ventures, The Case for Her and Octaquest. Founded in 2021 by Sandra Wirström and Astrid Gyllenkrok Kristensen, Leia is working to present postpartum care for ladies. The group is constructing a cellular app centered on each bodily and psychological well-being after giving beginning.
Selin Bucak is a contract finance author based mostly in Paris. She tweets from @SelinBucak2.