Women’s health startup Elvie raises $42m

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Elvie, the so-called ‘femtech’ health and lifestyle brand developing smarter technology for women, said it’s raised $42 million in Series B funding.

The funding round was led by investment firm IPGL and supported by Octopus Ventures and Impact Ventures UK. 

Elvie said the new round of financing will accelerate its research and development efforts, as well as growing brand awareness and distribution for Elvie Pump and Elvie Trainer across the Americas, Europe and Asia.

Award winning health firm: Elvie's products in demand among health conscious women

Founded in 2014, Elvie’s first product, Elvie Trainer, is an award-winning app-connected Kegel trainer that helps women strengthen their pelvic floor using fun, five-minute workouts with real time biofeedback. 

Last year, the femtech company launched its second innovation, Elvie Pump, the world’s first silent wearable breast pump, which creates an entirely new pumping experience that offers women complete freedom and mobility.

Shrouded in taboo

“Whether it’s menstruation, pregnancy or menopause, women’s bodies have been shrouded in taboo for centuries. We know so many issues of womanhood can be improved by technology, and there is so much potential in this space,” said Tania Boler, CEO, Elvie. 

Not a niche market: Investors see opportunities in women's health

“We are delighted to have the support of IPGL on our journey to create extraordinary products that improve women’s lives. This financing will enable us to continue innovating, while driving global scalability to meet customer needs.”

With most healthcare products and solutions designed, developed, and delivered by men, there has been a massive gap in the consumer technology market for solutions to tackle common issues women face, the firm said. 

Technology 'tone' lacking for women

Elvie said that only 32 per cent of women surveyed believe technology is designed for them, with 70 per cent of women citing look, feel, and tone as key shortcomings. To address this, Elvie is working to create solutions to the issues that matter most to women - from pregnancy and childbirth, to periods and menopause. 

“From seed to today’s ground-breaking fundraise, Octopus Ventures is proud to be investing in a company successfully helping women take back control over their bodies and lives”, said Simon King, principle at Octopus Ventures. 

“Elvie’s pioneering technology places fem-tech at the forefront of women’s health and wellness, with the largest fem-tech fundraise in history. This not only reflects the enormous talent of the Elvie team, but also highlights the growing momentum within this emerging sector.” 

“Elvie is not only a leader but a force for good in the fem-tech sector. Octopus Ventures is delighted to continue supporting Tania and the team as they continue in this journey.”

Women's health not a niche market

Billionaire Michael Spencer, who invested in the company via his private investment firm, IPGL, said the women’s health sector should not be viewed as a niche market: “The female-health sector has historically been underserved by technology and there are very few companies addressing women's health challenges.

“Women’s health and wellness should not be a niche market and Elvie is pioneering smarter technology for women with a mission to improve women’s health outcomes globally.”

As consumer demand dramatically increases for better women’s healthcare, Elvie is experiencing unprecedented growth. The firm’s annual revenue run-rate has tripled over the past six months and is expected to grow by another five times by the end of the year. 

Elvie Pump has been a consumer favorite since it disruptive launch, with tens of thousands of women currently on the waitlist to order, the company said.

Elvie’s progress has been widely recognised by many independent experts, with Elvie Trainer winning more than 12 awards for innovation and design. 

Additionally, Elvie Pump has been awarded six accolades, including a 2018 International Design Award and IoT Breakthrough Wearable Device of the Year Award, while also being named a Consumer Electronics Show 2019 Innovation Honoree and Babylist Best of Baby Tech 2019. 

Working in partnership with the NHS, Elvie Trainer is also the first at-home biofeedback device available for UK patients.

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