The rise of female entrepreneurship through Femtech

The rise of female entrepreneurship through Femtech

By Nicole Junkermann

Nicole Junkermann is an international entrepreneur and investor, and the founder of NJF Holdings, an international investment company with interests in venture capital, private equity, and real estate.  Through NJF’s venture capital arm (NJF Capital), Nicole oversees a portfolio across Europe and the US similar in size to a small venture fund, including in healthcare, fintech, and deep tech. 

For decades, women’s health products have been seen as a “niche” market, largely designed and sold by men. Now, in the wake of a new era, we are seeing an innovative wave of technology made by women, for women. Femtech is set to be the next big disruptor in the global healthcare market, estimated to become an industry worth US$50 billion by 2025. Crucially, it is female entrepreneurs who are at the forefront of this revolution.

It has been incredible to see the Femtech market boom, not only because of the enormous benefits this has on women’s health and their quality of life, but encouraged more women to enter the venture capital industry. As an international investor and principal of my own venture capital fund, it is vital that we continue to support this developing market that concerns more than 50% of the world population. 

Within NJF Capital’s portfolio, I have invested in two interesting companies in the Femtech sector.

A Focus on Elvie

One great case study is Elvie, one of the early pioneers of the Femtech sector.  Its first two innovative products, the Elvie Trainer and the multi-award-winning Elvie Pump, the world’s first silent wearable breast pump, are capturing the imagination of female consumers everywhere and are reinventing healthcare as we know it by giving women back control and autonomy of their bodies.

Elvie has a long-term roadmap to develop effective, user-friendly products and smart technology capable of supporting women in many different aspects of their lives.  As the Co-Founder, Tania Boler herself said, Elvie’s ambition is to become the ‘Apple of women’s tech’ and its mission is to improve women’s health outcomes globally.

The company has raised over $53 million in funding to date, backed by Sir Michael Spencer’s IPGL alongside Impact Ventures and NJF Capital, and has been featured in a range of high-profile media from Vogue to Forbes to Women’s Health.  Its products have even found their way into Oscar Nominee Gift Bags and, impressively, the Elvie Pump sold out within five minutes of its U.S. market debut.

Elvie has recently secured funding from HSBC UK which it hopes to use to expand further and support more women globally.  

We know that more needs to be done for female entrepreneurship. We have to work to improve the fact that only 1% of venture capital funding to new businesses is to female-led UK start-ups. Femtech can play a vital role in helping to change this and I look forwards to seeing how the industry develops.

Patrick Doherty
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