Elvie raises £32m in one of the largest ever femtech investments
Female health start-up Elvie has secured a 42 million US dollar (£32 million) funding round led by former Conservative Party treasurer Michael Spencer in one of the largest ever femtech investments.
Elvie, which is behind the award-winning Kegel trainer and app that helps women strengthen their pelvic floor, said the bumper fundraising will help ramp up its research and development efforts.
Mr Spencer, chief executive of private investment vehicle IPGL, led the round, with support from venture capital firms Octopus Ventures and Impact Ventures UK.
Elvie – led by chief executive and co-founder Tania Boler – was launched in 2013 and its first product was the Kegel trainer, which is now used in partnership with the NHS.
Last year, the firm also launched the world’s first silent wearable breast pump for mothers.
Ms Boler said: “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.”
She added the financing will “enable us to continue innovating, while driving global scalability to meet customer needs”.
Elvie caused a stir over the weekend when it ran a Mother’s Day campaign with giant inflatable breasts placed on rooftops across London to destigmatise breastfeeding in public.
The group is one of the fastest-growing firms in the so-called femtech sector and is forecasting revenues of £23 million in 2019.
Mr Spencer said: “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.”
Femtech is becoming a buzzword in the technology sector and is forecast to reach a market size of up to 50 billion US dollars (£38 billion) by 2025.
On Monday, US start-up NextGen Jane announced nine million US dollars (£7 million) of funding to help it develop technology to diagnose endometriosis.