FemTech, the sector that is helping meet unmet needs for women’s health, is exploding. In 2022, the Femtech market was valued at $30 billion USD. Today it’s poised to grow to $135 billion by 2032.
Women have been long excluded from clinical trials, based on the belief that female hormones would make studies more difficult to read or that drugs could harm future fetuses in women of childbearing age. In doing so, medicine and healthcare practices have excluded half the population.
From menstruation to menopause and endometriosis, entrepreneurs are asking how we can put tech at the service of women’s health. Some have started to fill that gap.
Leading FemTech Solutions
1 woman out of 9 suffers from breast cancer, 40% of whom undergo a mastectomy. Lattice Medical, a biotech startup, works on breast reconstruction and develops a technology allowing the breast to regenerate.
There is an average of 7 years of medical wandering before a diagnosis of endometriosis. Matricis AI is developing an artificial intelligence algorithm to help radiologists guide the clinical decision and diagnose endometriosis. Endodiag constitutes the largest biobank of tissues and blood samples from patients suffering from endometriosis in order to be able to make a blood diagnosis which, in a blood test, will be able to validate whether or not the patient suffers from endometriosis.
1 person out of 5 is concerned by assisted reproduction, a journey that lasts several years and fails in 80% of cases. The startup Louise is aimed at fertility professionals and builds clinical decision support based on AI for more efficient assisted reproduction and more human. Igyxos is working on a drug that would revolutionize the current treatment of infertility by replacing the injection of new hormones with the stimulation of natural hormones already present
An Uphill Battle
With half of global health customers being women, FemTech is gaining momentum. However, because the term is relatively new, gender biases, regulatory hurdles, and lack of funding can hinder this type of innovation.
There’s been noise about FemTech startups raising large funding rounds like Elvie’s Series C bringing their total funding to $97 million, or Flo’s Series B of $50 million. However, lesser-known startups are still struggling to find investors. Despite the business opportunities, femtech still only makes up a tiny percentage of the overall healthtech market.
The majority of FemTech startups are also founded by women. Historically, funding by female-founded startups is much lower than male-founded teams. In 2022, 87% of all VC funding in Europe was raised by men-only founding teams. A gap that unfortunately has increased since 2018.
Creating Space for FemTech
Women’s health is no longer a taboo subject. A number of VCs, investment funds, and associations are combating the inequalities in FemTech entrepreneurship and focusing entirely on female-founded projects or femtech startups. Here are three that you should know:
Tech4Eva, a FemTech acceleration program in Switzerland, helps boost startups developing innovative solutions to improve tech relating to women’s health.
Goddess Gaia Ventures, a female-founded venture capital firm building a venture fund, invests in solutions that cater to women’s needs in health, wellness, and FemTech.
FemTech France supports FemTech projects hosting bootcamps for entrepreneurs and networking opportunities with leaders in the FemTech ecosystem.
FemTech Village at VivaTech 2023
This year, VivaTech has partnered with FemTech France to create a first-ever FemTech Village at the heart of the event this June. Topics such as female well-being, menstrual health, reproduction and contraception, pregnancy and breastfeeding, and mental health will take center stage
If you are a startup developing technologies to improve women’s health, apply to the FemTech challenge now through 14 May. This is your chance to be selected for FemTech France’s bootcamp and win free passes to VivaTech this June.