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This year’s International Women’s Day campaign theme is #BalanceforBetter — be it raising awareness against bias, fighting for gender equity or celebrating women’s achievements. One sector that is key in helping women feel more empowered is Femtech: female technologies and services that are disrupting women’s health to provide more actionable information about hormones, menstrual cycles, sexual wellness and more. Here are some interesting things that are cooking in the Femtech space.
Waves Of Pleasure
Gina Gutierrez and Faye Keegan teamed up last year to create Dipsea, an app that delivers short, sexy audio stories. The San Francisco-based startup recently closed a seed round of $5.5 million co-led by Bedrock Capital and Thrive Capital (several angel investors also participated).
According to the Dipsea team, research shows that 90% of women use “mental framing” (or scenario conjuring) to get turned on. In other words, women are erotically inspired by story, context-setting and mood making. Yet most of the innovation and investment in female pleasure has been focused on the body rather than the brain.
The fresh funds will be used to grow the content and product teams, scale production and accelerate user growth.
Grooming Your Fur
Laura Schubert and Lillian Tung, two Harvard grads and childhood friends, launched their startup, Fur, in 2016 to de-stigmatize the conversation around pubic hair. Their mission? Shed light on grooming rather than removing the hair. The natural products include oils, scrubs and creams that hydrate skin, soften hair and eradicate ingrown hairs.
The self-funded startup just announced that beauty giant Ulta has started carrying the brand online, with plans to launch it in 347 stores nationwide in May. Net-a-Porter.com will also start selling Fur products in mid-March.
A Successful Exit
Earlier this year, Procter & Gamble (P&G) announced that it acquired period care startup This is L., which manufactures organic pads and tampons. Although the startup would not disclose the acquisition amount, TechCrunch reported that a person with knowledge of the investment put the price tag at roughly $100 million. This is a huge win for the Femtech space, which some still consider as “niche”.
More Perks For Working Parents
Chairman Mom, a subscription-based community platform for working mothers, initially began as a B2C service last year. It has now expanded into the B2B space and recently announced that it is rolling out a corporate membership for working parents, with cloud content management company Box as its first customer. The woman behind Chairman Mom is veteran journalist and entrepreneur Sarah Lacy, who is a mother of two.
Companies can now offer Chairman Mom as a paid benefit to their entire workforce, paying one dollar per employee per month.
A Hip Clinic For Women
Going to the gynecologist is a drag. Never mind the uncomfortable exam — sitting in a sterile, silent waiting room reading outdated magazines is simply boring. Enter Tia Clinic, a modern gynecology and wellness practice designed by women for women that provides a hip, yoga-esque ambiance. Co-founders Carolyn Witte and Felicity Yost opened the first physical space in New York City’s Flatiron District this week:
With $6 million in funding to date, the Tia Clinic offers its patients an annual exam, IUD insertions and fertility testing, as well as things like flu shots and even acupuncture. The big plus? It’s all under one health record. Members, who pay either $150 per year or $15 a month, also get access to the Tia App, which includes a cycle, health and wellness tracker, personalized answers to top health questions and a digital health record members can control.
Although there are myriad apps out there to track menstrual cycles and fertility, it’s refreshing to see an actual physical space for women.
March 8, 2019 at 01:14PM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs