Females account for almost 50 per cent of the human population on this planet, but unfortunately, there is very less tech available in the market dedicated towards making their lives easier and better. Over the past few years, if we notice carefully, we would observe that there hasn’t been any significant technological advancement when it comes to women healthcare. It is as if sectors such as female contraception, fertility and periods have hardly seen any mobility innovation wise whatsoever. However, thankfully, a few years ago people realized this very important fact and started working towards changing the situation. Hence, the term “FemTech” was born.
What is FemTech?
FemTech is an umbrella term being used in the tech world for all female related technology. This sector primarily deals with women’s health, including fertility solutions, period-tracking apps, pregnancy and nursing care, women’s sexual wellness, and reproductive system health care, all from technological standpoint of view.
It is good to see that mankind is finally moving away from a time when female health tech was no more than just an uncomfortable conversation. This change in mindset has resulted in a explosion of FemTech businesses over the last two years. Though the journey hasn’t been easy.
How Big Is FemTech?
Till a while ago, investors considered FemTech as a “niche” market, when it clearly is not as it caters to half the population. But now, the investors are finally opening up to the potential of the sector. In an interview to Mashable, Ida Tin, CEO of the period-tracking app Clue estimated that approximately $200 billion is being spent on women’s health already. Ida is also recognized for coining the term “FemTech” to describe this sector.
Entrepreneurs working on women’s health share that even though they’ve seen more interest from investors recently, but they’re still starting from a very low bar when compared to the digital health startups industry.
To begin with, women make up more than 50 per cent of the world’s population. Further, statistics have revealed that women are also uniquely empowered as consumers in majority parts of the world. Women all over the world control about $20 billion in annual consumer spending. This figure is expected to cross $28 trillion in the period of next five years.
According to data from CB Insights, roughly 45 FemTech startups have raised more than $1.1 billion in equity funding since 2014. And this is just the start, according to experts, with opportunities for women on both the tech and the VC sides of the table.
Some Early FemTech Startups
While launching a product is a lot of work no doubt, but when you’re not only launching a product but also creating a new category, it is a different ballgame altogether. This is exactly what happened with Glow, a period-and ovulation-tracking app founded in the year 2013, which is also acknowledged as one of the first femtech startups to start their journey in this sector. Berlin-based Clue was also founded somewhere around the same time in 2013. Some other notable startups in the field include Naya Health, a startup producing hydraulic-powered breast pumps that are quieter, less heavier and much more efficient that traditionally available breast pumps; Progyny, an plan that helps its users with fertility treatments; Nuelle, an app revolutionizing sexual well-being and intimacy and Sera Prognostics, an app aiming to make the pregnancy period easier for pregnant woman and their physicians to identify preterm labor risks.
Femtech & India
A simple Google search for “FemTech Startups in India” churns out nothing related to the topic. Though there are companies working in the field, the market is still ignorant of the huge potential of the emerging sector.
United Nations Development Programme’s Gender Inequality Index, which measures a number of factors such as women’s reproductive health, empowerment and labour market participation, is considered as one of the leading barometers for global gender parity. Currently, India is lagging in 130th place on this Index, and joins the bottom twenty countries on the list.
Sure, there’s no doubt that Indian women have a long way to go, but it is also important to acknowledge the fact that they have come a long way to place a strong foothold in the society in terms of equality and freedom. The increasing number of startups related to women healthcare in recent years in the country signifies the growing strength of women in the South Asian country.
Keep reading IndianWeb2 as soon we’ll be revealing fistful yet promising FemTech Startups based out of India.