Berlin-based femtech startup Inne raises €8m
Revolutionary sensor will give women greater understanding of menstrual cycle and aid conception
Inne, a Berlin based femtech startup, which is promising to deliver a hormone minilab for women that will give them a better chance of conceiving a child, has announced €8m (£6.8m) in Series A funding.
The company, started in 2017 by Eirini Rapti, says it will use the money to expand its team by hiring software engineers and design and operations staff. The funding round was led by led by Blossom Capital and Monkfish Equity, and supported by a series of angel investors.
Inne’s core product will be a saliva biosensor device that enables women to develop greater understanding of their bodies. It can help them identify and predict the fertile phase in their natural cycle.
Rapti claims that Inne offers a smarter product than existing period-tracking apps. It will have a closed beta launch in Scandinavia next year enabling the company to further evaluate its performance.
The product has three parts — a reader, a disposable saliva tester and an app. Rapti told TechCrunch: “You basically collect your saliva by putting it in your mouth for 30 seconds. And then you insert it in the reader and then you go about your day. The reader is connected to your phone, either via BlueTooth or wifi. It takes the reading and it sends it over to your phone.”
The user can monitor how hormonal data changes throughout the menstrual cycle and discover what that means about ovulation or overall health.
“I want women to start tuning into their hormones early so they understand more about their bodies.” said Rapti. “Most women only think about their fertility when they are trying to conceive and this becomes highly stressful and counterproductive. However, if you have an insight into how your body works from an earlier age, you can understand how to give yourself the best chance at starting a family at a time that’s right for you.”
A number of apps already claim to help women track their menstrual cycles, including Clue, Flo, Eve, Period Diary and Natural Cycles. Some of this new breed of femtech products are designed to help women optimise their chances of becoming pregnant, while others claim to be “digital contraceptive” devices.
“Women are downloading period tracking apps but these lack any real insight or value for their users.” said Dirk Freise, founder at Shortcut Ventures. “Inne analyses the data it collects and makes it meaningful and useful. Enabling birth control without chemicals is a huge step forward for women all over the world.”