Women’s Health and Femtech in 2022 + 16 Companies to Watch

You might not know it just yet, but there’s a revolution coming to the healthcare technology industry.

Although women make up half the world’s population and are affected by different health conditions and concerns than men, modern medicine too often approaches things from a male-centric perspective. The development and application of healthcare tech reflect this bias: solutions are regularly based on male physiology as women are left out of trials and receive a disparity in care. Just 4% of healthcare R&D spending is dedicated specifically to women’s health issues.

But that all appears set to change, thanks to the growing attention and momentum of so-called “femtech” companies. In this article, we take a look at the femtech phenomenon that’s set to take the healthcare industry by storm. Below, we’ll cover:

  • The basics of femtech: what it is, when it started, and more
  • The challenges still facing femtech and women’s health issues and the opportunities available 
  • 16 women’s health and femtech companies to keep your eyes on

Table of Contents

What Is Femtech? A Primer

Femtech refers to the burgeoning industry composed specifically of women’s healthcare products and services. Enabled by technology and data, this growing range of tools, software, services, wearables, and more addresses women’s health issues, including menopause and menstrual, reproductive, sexual, and maternal health, as well as a range of conditions that disproportionately or differently affect women.

The term femtech was coined by Ida Tin, Co-Founder and CEO of Clue, a women’s health tracking app. Tin claims she came up with the term as a means of legitimizing the female-centric health technology market and driving interest, investment, and innovation in the space—while also helping to normalize conversations about female health. 

While some have bristled at the use of the label, it’s hard to argue with its effectiveness in stirring up interest in women’s health startups. Since 2015, venture capital funding has tripled from just over $600M to nearly $1.9B in 2021, according to Pitchbook data. And as the figure below shows, the funding increases have been matched by deals, new startups being founded, and media attention.

Image Source: McKinsey

The Challenges (and Opportunities) Ahead for Femtech

For all the interest in everything that falls under the banner of femtech, there’s still a long way to go. Despite the growth in venture funding, still only 3% of total healthcare technology funding went to femtech startups in 2020. This disparity is reflected within healthcare R&D activity as well. Owing to institutional biases and a lack of women researchers, fewer resources are dedicated within health organizations to solutions for women. Outside of oncology, activity related to female conditions comprises less than 2% of the current healthcare pipeline

Nevertheless, these discrepancies shouldn’t be disheartening. Instead, they point to the incredible opportunities that exist in this fast-growing space. Pitchbook expects venture funding in femtech companies to balloon to at least $3B annually by 2030, while the global market is tipped to grow from an estimated $5.6B to over $13B over the same period.

According to McKinsey, this growth isn’t just creating value but disrupting global healthcare models. Femtech and women’s health startups are driving disruption in a broad range of areas, including by improving care delivery, enabling self-care, improving diagnostics, addressing stigmatized topics, and expanding culturally sensitive and tailored care to too-often-overlooked groups.

Image source: McKinsey

16 Women’s Health and Femtech Companies to Watch

While it seems like new, innovative, and exciting femtech companies are now appearing on the scene every day, here are 16 disruptive companies to keep an eye on in the months and years ahead.

ART Compass

Leadership: Dr. Carole Curchoe, Founder, CEO, and Senior Embryologist

Latest Deal: Unknown

HQ: San Francisco, CA 

Dedicated to developing software that simplifies the management of IVF labs, San Francisco’s ART Compass is bringing clinics into the 21st century. With the company’s specialized software platform, IVF clinics and embryologists can go paperless and unlock a new layer of data analysis, support compliance, and even communicate with patients.

Antiva Biosciences

Leadership: Gail Maderis, President and CEO; Oranee Daniels, MD, Chief Medical Officer

Latest Deal: $31M, Series D, November 2021

HQ: Brisbane, CA 

On the back of a November 2021 round of funding, Antiva Biosciences is stepping up its development of novel topical therapies that treat precancerous lesions caused by human papillomavirus (HPV). The convenient, non-surgical alternative they’re developing is attracting more than just funding: in 2022, Antiva was named the winner of the Global Women’s HealthTech Award by the World Bank Group and Consumer Technology Association.

Ava

Leadership: Lea von Bidder, Co-Founder and CEO

Latest Deal: Acquired by FemTec Health in July 2022

HQ: Zurich, Switzerland 

Driven by a team of experts in the fields of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive gynecology, Switzerland-based Ava has developed the first FDA-cleared fertility tracking wearable. The Ava bracelet, worn only during sleep, utilizes machine learning to analyze physiological signals and delivers insights to wearers, and helps women better understand their fertility, pregnancy, and menopause.

BIOMILQ

Leadership: Michelle Egger, Co-Founder and CEO; Leila Strickland, Ph.D., Co-Founder & Chief Scientific Officer

Latest Deal: $21M, Series A, October 2021

HQ: Durham, NC 

Aiming to deliver next-generation biotech in support of the next generation, BIOMILQ is producing cell-cultured human milk outside of the body. The goal is to provide mothers and their babies with the nutrition of breast milk along with the practicality of formula—and do so sustainably.

Flo

Leadership: Dmitry Gurski, Co-Founder and CEO; Yuri Gurski, Co-Founder and President; Max Scrobov, Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer

Latest Deal: $49.7M, Series B, December 2021

HQ: London, UK 

Backed by AI, the Flo period-tracking app delivers personalized insights and education for women on how the menstrual cycle affects their bodies and well-being. Since its founding in 2015, Flo has fast become the number one women’s health app worldwide, with 50 million monthly active users.

Grace Health

Leadership: Thérèse Mannheimer, Founder; Estelle Westling, Founder and CEO

Latest Deal: $2.68M in a May 2019 Seed round

HQ: Stockholm, Sweden 

Striving to close the gap in access to basic women’s health services, the Grace Health app offers the first-ever female health assistant for women in emerging markets. Users can access the app affordably to track their cycle and symptoms, get AI-based period and ovulation predictions, and ask questions of health experts via a 24/7 chat.

InnAccel

Leadership: Siraj Dhanani, Co-Founder and CEO; Nitesh Kumar Jangir, Co-Founder

Latest Deal: $1.5M, Pre-Series A, October 2020

HQ: Bangalore, India 

Another winner at the latest Global Women’s HealthTech Awards, India’s InnAccel is developing a portfolio of innovative medical devices geared toward emerging markets. Among these technologies is Fetal Lite, an AI-powered fetal heart rate monitor for mothers in labor or post-36 weeks of pregnancy. By expanding access to this fetal monitoring, InnAccel hopes to reduce intrapartum deaths with better diagnosis and more effective care.

Joylux

Leadership: Colette Courtion, Founder, President, CEO and Board Member

Latest Deal: Undisclosed, Series A2, June 2022

HQ: Seattle, WA 

With its platform of devices, tools, and products, Joylux has introduced a range of intimate health offerings for menopausal women. The company’s products help alleviate symptoms of menopause while collecting health data that can aid the prediction of symptoms and support women as they go through the change. 

Kindbody

Leadership: Gina Bartasi, Founder and Chair

Latest Deal: $26.7M in a September 2022 venture round

HQ: New York, NY 

Billed as the only employee fertility benefit solution that provides care directly, Kindbody is expanding access to a new kind of fertility and family-building care. With a full suite of offerings ranging from fertility to adoption and surrogacy to maternity care, this New York-based startup is expanding its private clinics and network of providers on the back of multiple recent rounds of funding.

Maven

Leadership: Katherine Ryder, founder, CEO and board member

Latest Deal: $110M, Series D, August 2021

HQ: New York, NY 

Enabling customers to seek continuous care from fertility to parenthood, Maven’s digital health platform has continued to grow into 2022. Maven users can connect with the platform’s network of nurses, gynecologists, mental health specialists, physical therapists, and more to find the virtual care they need, on-demand, no matter which stage of their health journey they’re in.

NIRAMAI Health Analytix

Leadership: Geetha Manjunath, Founder and CEO

Latest Deal: $6M, Series A, in February 2019

HQ: Bangalore, India 

Taking on the leading cause of cancer death in women, breast cancer, NIRAMAI has developed a software-based medical device that helps detect the disease at a much earlier stage than traditional methods. Low-cost, automated, and portable, the NIRAMAI screening tool works for women of all ages, is radiation-free and non-touch, and offers flexibility to be used in a wide range of settings. 

Ovira

Leadership: Alice Williams, Founder and CEO

Latest Deal: $1.5M in a March 2020 Seed round

HQ: Sydney, Australia 

Founded in 2018, Ovira offers a discreet, wearable device that helps relieve period pain with Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) technology. As a registered medical device, Ovira users in the US may be able to get the device completely or partially covered by insurance, giving them a low-cost and convenient option to deal with cramps and pain. Since securing funding in a 2020 seed round, the company has built momentum with clever viral marketing campaigns and a strong social media presence.

Thinx

Leadership: Radha Agrawal, Co-Founder and Co-Owner

Latest Deal: Kimberly-Clark acquired a majority stake in February 2022

HQ: New York, NY 

Since launching in 2013, Thinx describes its period-proof underwear as the first period innovation in 76 years. Named to the Inc. 5000 Disruptors list and Fast Company’s list of the Most Innovative Companies of 2017, Thinx provides a sustainable alternative to tampons and pads to more than a million people worldwide.

TruScreen

Leadership: Tony Ho, Non-Executive Chairman; Juliet Hull, Interim CEO and Executive Director

Latest Deal: TruScreen has been a publicly held company since 2014

HQ: Auckland, New Zealand 

Committed to achieving their vision of a world without cervical cancer, TruScreen has been offering a breakthrough advanced cervical screen device as an alternative to traditional methods. The TruScreen device is fit for use within communities that cannot access conventional, laboratory-dependent screening methods and offers real-time, accurate results.

UE LifeSciences

 Leadership: Mihar Shah, Co-Founder and CEO; Bhaumik Sanghvi, Co-Founder and COO; Matthew Campisi, Co-Founder and CTO; Madhu Kumar, Chief Business Officer

Latest Deal: $480K in later-stage venture capital, in November 2021

HQ: Philadelphia, PA 

Founded in 2009, UE LifeSciences is beginning to scale its unique health technologies. Its flagship device, iBreastExam, is FDA-cleared and was launched in the US market in 2022, in partnership with Siemens Healthineers. The award-winning device enables primary health workers to document and identify non-palpable breast lumps in just a few minutes, without any pain or radiation. Meanwhile, UE’s cervAIcal—an AI-enabled mobile colposcope for cervical cancer screening—is undergoing piloting this year.

Conclusion

These organizations are among those leading the way in the femtech industry, but they’re far from the only ones. And if one thing is clear, there will only be more and more entering this booming space in 2023 and beyond—helping to ensure a brighter, healthier, and more equitable future for women everywhere. 

Have a company you would like to add to the list? Reach out to us today!