With the women’s health industry undergoing the huge phenomenon called Femtech, another technological feather has been added in its cap. Berlin-based start-up Inne has raised an €8 million in Series A funding led by Blossom Capital. Series A is a hormone-tracking subscription product for fertility-tracking and natural contraception. The small & portable product good enough to fit in the pocket is described as a “mini-lab” and is slated for a 2020 Q1 release.
Monkfish Equity, an early backer of the company, as well as several notable angel investors – including Taavet Hinrikus, co-founder of TransferWise; Tom Stafford, managing partner at DST; and Trivago co-founder Rolf Schromgens are also participating in this round. It is very uncommon to jump to an industry for women’s health where technology holds a leading position. Well, things are changing and statistics are not the same.
This industry is blooming day by day. Ranging from fertility solutions, menstrual health, pregnancy & nursing care to women’s sexual wellness, and reproductive system health care.
Femtech is tackling and providing consumers with novel, data-driven solutions.
Various venture capitalists are investing millions in Femtech – any technology that aims to improve the lives of women (or anyone with female anatomy). Thus, the sector is witnessing an upward trend. There are now apps for tracking periods and the menstrual cycle, such as Clue and Fuo to name a few.
Founder Eirini Rapti, who has been previously associated with the healthcare sector, started Inne in 2017. She founded the firm with a vision to help women know about their body and be able to make informed decisions about fertility, sexuality, and overall female health and Femtech control their reproductive health.
The firm has developed a saliva-based test that measures hormone levels, along with an in vitro diagnostic device that allows data extraction from the disposable tests at home and Femtech is communicated via the associated companion app.
The test is pure biochemistry with algorithms applied to it so as to interpret the hormonal readings incorporating other signals such as the cycle length of the user, what time of day the test is taken and Femtech the user’s age. It is designed for hormone-tracking and make the consumer aware about the basic changes occurring in the body and how those changes are going to impact them.
The product was under Research & Development phase since 2017. The branding and marketing of the product launch was under wraps as the major focus was to get the biochemistry right. The company was driven to prioritize the idea rather than the marketing of the start-up. The firm took a seed funding prior to this round but the details have not been disclosed yet.
What’s known is the firm has applied for and gained a European Medical device certification. The official announcement for the same is yet to follow. Inne has also initiated the process for entering in the US market by applying for an FDA certification. While the company has not provided any efficacy details for the product, it claims to be publishing the details of the research conducted as part of the CE marking process within a few weeks.
With the funding, Inne plans to expand its team from across the Europe and hire new members including software engineers, design, and operations members. It is also going to run more clinical studies in 2020, focusing on the additional insights that can be extracted from the test to feed the product proposition rather than conducting further research on the efficacy (or any comparative) studies.