Femtech in Europe

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The term femtech originated in Europe – Clue app founder Ida Tin coined it in 2016 – so it’s only natural that we go with this as a European trends report.


❓ Understanding Femtech

“Femtech is more than period tracking apps.”
  • Femtech refers to software, diagnostics, products and services, that use technology to support women’s health.
  • Reproductive health is the largest area of application for the femtech market(56% of the market) but it is not the only one.
  • The most popular areas are Pregnancy & Nursing, General Health, Healthcare & Diagnostics and Reproductive Health.
    • General Health: nutrition and fitness, mental health, and sexual wellness.
    • Pregnancy and Nursing: maternal and post maternal-related health conditions, breastfeeding
    • Healthcare & Diagnostics: diagnostic tests & screening, disease management, menstruation.
    • Reproductive Health: menstruation tracking, at-home fertility monitoring.
  • These problems are normally tackled via platforms (mobile apps, telehealth, etc.), deep-tech (AI, ML and big data) and devices (wearables, sensors, remote patient monitoring.)
  • Femtech can be understood as a continuum – pre-care → during care → post-care.
  • Specialized Femtech companies are on the rise but the market is currently served, mostly, by established clinical diagnostics companies, pharmaceuticals and traditional medical device companies.

👎 Problem

“Women care (about health) and spend more but are underserved.”
  • There are 299 million women in the EU.
    • Germany - 42 million
    • France - 34 million
    • Italy - 30 million
    • Spain - 23 million
    • Poland - 19 million
  • Women have huge influence in healthcare: 90% of women are primary decision makers for their family and key influencers for friends, and 80% of household spending is done by women.
  • This is reflected in spending: working-age femalesspend 29% more per capita on healthcare compared to males in the same age group.
  • No one is serving them, and the ones who are, despite having huge potential, are immensely underfunded. The Femtech industry accounts for only 1.4% of capital that flows into healthcare..
  • Despite representing an economic burden of over $500 billion, only 4% of healthcare research and development funding is targeted toward women’s health.
  • In Europe, Femtech raised $190 million in 2019 and is on track to do $98 million year-to-date in 2020.

📈 Why Femtech is an Opportunity

“Femtech is an undervalued asset”
  • Femtech is growing at an incredible pace. In 2015, global Femtech startups raised around $82 million. This year the space surpassed $1.1 billion in funding, with $750 million in 2019.
  • Everyone is still quoting a 2018 Global Market Insights report (or the Frost & Sullivan’s) as the ultimate source of truth saying that Femtech will be $50 billion by 2025. That’s pre-COVID (and pre-rise of telehealth) so it is likely that it’s a multiple of that.
  • Women are 75% more likely to use digital tools for healthcare than men.
  • There is a more conducive regulatory environment (particularly when you think about Europe vs. the US): since 2016, regulatory agencies have supported modern digital applications for the treatment of conventional women’s health issues. For instance, Natural Cycles, a hormone-free birth control application, received CE approval as a Class-Two medical device to be marketed in Europe in 2017, and the FDA approved Ava, a fertility tracking wearable, as a Class-One medical device in 2016.
  • Governments are also more conducive to partner with new, less proven providers. The NHS partnered with Elvie to offer their pelvic trainer, which normally costs £169, on prescription to patients with stress urinary incontinence (SUI.)
  • Most companies in the space are single-product companies. There is room to diversify (by launching or acquiring new products.)
  • Femtech companies face challenges in raising money, because women's health issues are not always understood by investors, women are underrepresented in the investment community,
  • Outside Europe, emergent markets can be key if served correctly and at the right price: Brazil has 106 million women and India 497.

🚀 Opportunities

“Serve the femtech market”
  • Focus on niches outside reproductive health. For instance, there is a high prevalence of chronic diseases among women – sometimes one to two times higher than that in men – like Alzheimer’s.
  • PR firm focused on demystifying femtech. Cultural and social taboos are still big barriers in the adoption of new products.
  • Consultancy to help femtech products get regulatory approval in Europe.
  • Newsletter and community for femtech founders. Like Femtech Collective but for Europe.
  • Niche job board to help femtech companies hiring. Many women are looking for their next role with a purpose.
  • Health data is normally in silos – multiple doctors, multiple hospitals. The right Femtech company can become the canonical medical record for women.
  • Medicine is normally reactive. Numerous femtech startups are focused on increasing general wellness through providing preventative health opportunities.

🔮 Predictions

  • Femtech will grow at an even faster pace than predicted.
  • A new femtech fund will show up, or funds will hire female partners to focus on the space.
  • Employers will start offering fertility and other health-related benefits. This is a great opportunity for companies thinking about distribution.
  • If you invest in the space, index every credible femtech deal. You should be able to get great returns by “homesteading” femtech in European tech.

🌐 Players & Companies

General Health

(nutrition and fitness, mental health, sexual wellness)

Pregnancy & Fertility

(maternal and post maternal-related health conditions, breastfeeding)

Healthcare & Diagnostics

(Diagnostic tests & screening, disease management, menstruation.)

Reproductive Health

(menstruation tracking, at-home fertility monitoring.)

Investors

Funds
Angels

Accelerators

Communities

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