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Femtech firm Elvie secures £58m from big-name investors to fuel expansion

·2-min read
It has been estimated that the femtech space will be worth $50 billion by 2025 (Elvie)
It has been estimated that the femtech space will be worth $50 billion by 2025 (Elvie)

Established femtech firm Elvie revealed on Tuesday that it has secured £58 million in a Series C funding round from big-name investors including BGF and Zoopla-backer Octopus Ventures.

The Farringdon-based brand, founded in 2013 by Oxford and Stanford-educated reproductive health expert Tania Boler, proved a hit in its first year when sales of its eponymous pelvic-floor trainer saw sales hit $1 million. The product is now available on the NHS.

Elvie, which develops tech in-house and also sells a silent breast pump, saw sales nearly double in 2020 despite the pandemic. It has expanded into 10 new markets around the world over the past 12 months.

The firm, which had already raised more than £33 million ahead of its Series C, made a major hire last year when it took on former Costa Coffee finance chief, Sarah Highfield, as COO and CFO.

Elvie said on Tuesday that the new cash will be used to invest in innovation, continued expansion, and company infrastructure.

Boler, who completed a PhD in reproductive health and spent 12 years working on sexuality education before launching her startup, said: "Elvie has already revolutionized every category it has entered – but we know that we have barely scratched the surface of what is possible for women’s tech.

“We won’t stop until we have fulfilled our ambition to create the go-to destination for women’s health at all life stages; providing sophisticated, accurate and personalised solutions.”

Tania Boler launched her startup in 2013 after completing a PhD in reproductive health (Sophia Spring)
Tania Boler launched her startup in 2013 after completing a PhD in reproductive health (Sophia Spring)

The funding round was led by BGF, with further investment from funds and accounts managed by BlackRock, and a consortium including Hiro Capital and Westerly Winds. Existing investors Octopus Ventures and IPGL also participated.

BGF's Daina Spedding said: "We admire Elvie’s vision, strong track record and R&D capability which have brought a tangible positive impact on women’s lives."

Elvie is one of the more established brands in the femtech space, which has been expanding fast in recent years after decades during which women's health research fell to the bottom of the priority pile for large firms. Frost & Sullivan has predicted the sector will reach $50 billion by 2025.

Today femtech startups range from those offering products helping women through childbirth, menopause and menstrual cycles, to family planning apps such as Natural Cycles and Stix, a direct-to-consumer company which creates discreet pregnancy and ovulation tests that are delivered straight to a customer’s door.

Another UK-based digital fertility clinic, Apricity, has created an algorithm to predict how well women will react to IVF.

Read an interview with Boler here

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