Femtech startup Elvie raises $6 million for its kegel tracker
Above: Elvie's kegel tracker
Image Credit score rating: Elvie website
Pelvic flooring muscular tissues aren’t the “sexiest” part of a woman’s intimacy, nevertheless they’re important to her sexual effectively being and well-being. Kegel exercises, which help hold these muscular tissues, aren’t new, nevertheless Elvie found a strategy to make them barely further amusing by rising a kegel tracker associated wirelessly to an app. The London-based startup launched within the current day that is has raised an additional $6 million in funding.
Pelvic flooring points, akin to urinary incontinence, can occur when the pelvic flooring muscular tissues are stretched, weakened, or too tight. Although women can experience this at an early age, it’s usually further frequent after positive life phases akin to being pregnant, childbirth, and menopause.
“When healthy and toned, the pelvic floor is vital as it lifts and holds your core and abs, assists with bladder control, and contributes to sexual satisfaction,” wrote CEO and cofounder Tania Boler, in an e mail to VentureBeat. Elvie’s totally different cofounder, Alexander Asseily, is taken into account considered one of Jawbone’s founders.
Elvie’s product is a pod-like kegel tracker made out of silicone that girls insert of their vaginas. “It is intimate technology,” wrote Boler. “A bit like a Fitbit for your lady bits!” The strain and motion sensors measure pelvic flooring muscle actions as the girl exercises by squeezing it. The tracker connects to the Elvie app via bluetooth (on every iOS and Android) and permits clients to visualise the exercises in precise time. “As you squeeze your pelvic floor muscles, a gem on the app lifts,” wrote Boler. “The stronger your squeeze, the higher the gem lifts.”
Above: Elvie’s kegel tracker and app
Image Credit score rating: Elvie
The startup claims to have labored with docs and physiotherapists to create personalised teaching purposes, along with with information scientists who’re working to optimize the teaching routine for each particular person.
Elvie’s kegel tracker costs $199 — it is purchased on Elvie’s website, Amazon, John Lewis, Goop, and Violet Grey, and is presently being purchased in 59 markets. Prospects embody actresses January Jones and Gwyneth Paltrow, along with actuality TV star Khloé Kardashian. Based mostly on Boler, effectively being and wellness areas, along with the Portland Hospital throughout the U.Okay. and Mount Sinai throughout the U.S., are recommending it.
Elvie categorizes itself as a femtech startup, which is expanding in every the U.S. and the U.Okay. Some people, however, are nonetheless skeptical regarding the price of such a market — one factor Boler has struggled with. “Too often, ‘women’s issues’ are neglected or not taken seriously,” she wrote. “I’ve had so many people tell me that pelvic floor issues are too ‘niche’. How can the experiences of half of women be called niche?”
On the subject of investments, Boler argues that even though merchants are beginning to take this sector severely, Assortment A investments are typically lower for ladies’s associated effectively being items than for the effectively being space often. Totally different European-based femtech startups like Clue in Germany and Pure Cycles in Sweden are getting considerable funding, nevertheless these are digital solely, not wearables.
Boler sees the potential of wearables for ladies, however, and is banking on it 100 p.c. “Most of wearable tech for women has focused on aesthetic changes like turning a tracker into a piece of jewelry or changing its color,” she wrote. “These are okay at one level but the potential of connected devices to radically improve the health and happiness of women is massively under-exploited.”
Octopus Ventures led within the current day’s spherical, with participation from the female-focused VC company AllBright. Earlier merchants embody Google Maps founder Lars Rasmussen and totally different angel merchants. This brings Elvie’s entire raised to $eight.6 million as a result of it was primarily based in 2013.
The model new money will possible be used to turn into 25 additional worldwide places all through the U.S., Europe, and Asia. A second machine may additionally be launched by the tip of this 12 months.
Elvie presently has roughly 20 workers.
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