Female technology (FemTech), has historically been viewed as a niche market. Many FemTech startups struggled to get their first rounds of funding with investors skeptical of how much success they could attain.
But over the years, FemTech founders have quashed the doubts. And it shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. With 50% of the population as your target audience, you have a lot of people to market to. As such, FemTech has now exploded with many new cutting-edge startups emerging. With increasing popularity, the global market for FemTech is forecast to reach $60 bn by 2027.
With such big bucks on the table, FemTech is increasingly grabbing the attention of venture capitalists, and we expect they will continue to disrupt the women’s health market in 2023 and beyond.
In this article, we will explore what FemTech is, how the scene is thriving in Berlin, and share some of our favorite FemTechs from Berlin that you need to watch in 2023.
What is FemTech?
If you're not familiar with the term FemTech, that's understandable. It's a relatively new term, coined in 2016. The early femtech pioneer Ida Tin was the first person to use the terms and while she is Danish-born, her FemTech is based here in Berlin. It's called Clue – maybe you’ve heard of it.
Today the term's scope has grown quite a bit. It is now used to refer to the rapidly growing number of startups and companies that focus on women's health through conducting research, designing innovative products, and supporting women.
According to PitchBook, in 2022, FemTech startups raised over $2 billion, a massive increase from the $476.8 million raised in 2019. And that increase in interest and investment is all happening while we have been experiencing some economic downturn and uncertainty in the market, making it all the more impressive.
In 2023, we foresee investment to continue. Startups focusing on plugging societal gaps are growing in number and attracting global attention. And FemTechs in Berlin and across the world are using technology to address many of the health disparities that women face.
Today, FemTechs use their innovation and creativity to provide support for everything from reproductive health needs to fertility, menstrual tracking, pregnancy, breastfeeding, and menopause. In addition, may focus on finding treatments for diseases that are more prevalent in women (such as Alzheimer's, certain types of cancer, and autoimmune diseases).
The work these FemTechs are doing is of great importance to women everywhere. Many diseases affect women differently or more than men but traditional medicine has used men as test subjects when developing treatments and drugs leaving women on the sidelines.
This new wave of women's health technology could bring about significant change to women's health and help women across the globe live happier and healthier lives.
The FemTech scene in Berlin
Within the past five years, the FemTech space in Berlin has been booming – and that was only exacerbated by the pandemic.
As more and more women become aware of the importance of monitoring their health and having access to solutions designed specifically for the biological female anatomy, the FemTech startup scene in Berlin has grown.
In 2023 there will be no shortage of opportunities to network and establish a presence in the Berlin FemTech world.
From Berlin Geekettes to the FEMTEC career platform there are lots of local initiatives and groups gathering in the city where anyone interested in FemTech is welcomed with open arms.
In addition, you could also look at WeHubs and Womenize! And we are only scratching the surface here. In Berlin, there are over 170 initiatives dedicated to supporting women in tech and media.
Ironhack recently held a women in tech event here at our Berlin Campus and is hoping to hold more similar events in the future. Follow us on Eventbrite to stay up-to-date on all our local events.
Berlin has fostered a creative and welcoming environment for women in tech which is why so many incredible FemTech founders have chosen the city for their startup location.
There are numerous awards such as the Berlin Women Entrepreneurs of the Year Award launched that honor women who act as role models for female entrepreneurship. There are also incubation funding programs such as the Berliner Startup Stipendium, which for the first time had a Women in Tech focus in 2021.
Top FemTech startups in Berlin to watch
FemTechs in Berlin are some of the most exciting startups on the scene right now. Want to see who's leading the charge? Here are five of our favorite cutting-edge FemTech startups from Berlin that are revolutionizing women's health.
You can’t talk about FemTechs in Berlin without mentioning Clue. One of the largest and most successful FemTechs in Europe, Clue has opened the doors for and inspired many other female tech founders.
Clue has been on the FemTech scene for a while and was founded in 2012. Over 10 years it has seen enormous success and grown to 12 million users across over 180 countries.
Clue is a female health app that assists women to track their menstrual and fertility cycles.
It was one of the first of its kind in the FemTech space and has grown to success due to its ability to provide accurate predictions for periods and fertile windows. In its 10 years of operations, it has secured over $47.8 million in funding, which has demonstrated to many venture capitalists that there is an increasing demand for femtech solutions in the market.
The pandemic had a lot of Berliners trapped in their apartments and some of the highly motivated ones used this time to make their startup ideas come to fruition. It was in this environment that the Berlin-based start-up inne was born.
inne is a FemTech product that lets women track their cycles with lab-grade accuracy. Its product focuses on contraception and birth control but is also used by women who want to get pregnant.
Its at-home fertility monitoring system is impressive. Created with the input of highly skilled technicians, scientists, and designers, quality was at the center of its vision. The mini-hormone lab can be used in any bathroom and makes fertility tracking simple for women.
All the women need to do is moisten a test strip for the hand-held inne reader with their saliva for about 30 seconds every day.
The device works by measuring the progesterone level in the user’s saliva with the same level of accuracy that would be produced in a "real" lab.
theblood is an innovative FemTech startup that helps women understand their health. Six out of ten women feel exhausted during menstruation and have no clue why. theblood uses menstrual blood to analyze and track key parameters of your health to help women develop greater knowledge and awareness of their health.
Each woman gets an individualized health report that helps her know her body and cycle better.
The Berlin startup has received support from the Grace Accelerator for female entrepreneurship and the Berlin Startup Stipend, and is completing a program with the Berlin Innovation Agency.
They are currently seeking funding and looking to do a second round of testing menstrual blood samples from product testers before they go to market.
branayama is a Berlin-based startup that designed “A bra that elevates motherhood.”
Many FemTechs focus on menstruation, so branayama is quite a unique startup with no one else in the market offering a similar product.
Another cool thing about branayama is that rather than going down the venture capital path, it crowdfunded its initial funding through Kickstarter. Later in 2021 branayama received a Berlin Founders Fund grant from Silicon Allee.
Its sustainable nursing bra that replaces nursing pads meets a demand that is clearly there and serves a market that is often overlooked – new mothers.
XbyX is a Berlin-based FemTech platform that serves women over 40. It helps menopausal women navigate this change in their life with greater ease and fewer symptoms.
Their latest round of Seed funding was completed on the 25th of January 2023, while the total of the funding has not been disclosed it is in the seven figures and reflects investor confidence in their innovative approach.
The platform's approach to easing menopause is to offer women plant-based products that reduce common symptoms of perimenopause, menopause, and hormone imbalance. This is also supported by educational content on the platform and a strong online community where women can discuss healthy aging.
Get ready to start your tech career in Berlin
Are you a woman ready to kickstart your career in tech? Sign up for one of our bootcamps and learn the skills that FemTechs in Berlin are searching for. Our tech school offers a range of immersive courses from UX/UI Design to Cybersecurity that are delivered in formats tailored to your needs: online or on campus, full-time or part-time. Apply today.