This morning London-based femtech company Elvie announced that it raised $42 million in Series B funding. The latest round was led by IPGL with participation from Octopus Ventures and Impact Ventures UK.
WHAT THEY DO
The women-led startup has developed two main products in the feminine care space; a pelvic floor trainer and a breast pump.
The first, called Elvie Trainer, was launched in 2014 and is an app-connected pelvic trainer that women wear while doing Kegel exercises.The system’s app lets users visualize their pelvic floor movements with biofeedback, while the user is performing the exercise. Each session lasts 5minutes and, according to the company, designed to be fun.
Kegel exercises are linked to better core strength and improved back and abdominal strength. The exercises are often recommended for people with incontience. Pregnancy, childbirth, obesity, and constant coughing are often linked to the weakening of pelvic floor muscles.
Last year the company released the Elvie Pump, a smart breast pump. The technology is silent and can be worn inside of a standard nursing bra. It comes with a connected app, which lets moms monitor the volume of their milk in real time. It tracks the pumping history on each breast, and is designed to switch from stimulation to expression mode when it detects let down. It will also stop when the bottle is full.
WHAT IT’S FOR
The new money will be put towards research and development, as well as growing brand awareness for the two products in the Americas, Europe and Asia.
Femtech has become a growing piece of the digital health market, and connected breast pumps are becoming more plentiful on the market.
A number of breast pumps launched at last year's CES. This included Willow, a handsfree breast pump that connects to the user’s phone so they can see what is happening while they pump, and Sonata Smart Breast Pump, which lets users track their sessions as well as gives educational information about breast feeding.
Elvie isn’t the only pelvic floor coach on the market either. In 2015 PeriCoach, a smartphone-connected device that helps women with their pelvic floor exercises, got the FDA nod.
ON THE RECORD
“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,” Tania Boler, CEO of Elvie, said in a statement. “We are delighted to have the support of Michael Spencer 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.”