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German femtech Inne grabs $10M to empower women understand their reproductive health

Image credits: Inne

The Berlin-based health tech, Inne empowering women to better understand their reproductive health has just announced the close of its Series A raising $10M. This investment seeks to also uplift the women’s health sector, a woefully underfunded and underresearched subset of the broader health sector. Shockingly, of the $198B invested in pharmaceutical research in 2020, just 1% of funding was committed to non-breast cancer related female health conditions.

This financing round was led by DSM Venturing, with Borski Fund & Calm Storm Ventures also participating in the round. Other high-profile angels in the transaction included Taavet Hinrikus (Wise), Dr Fiona Pathiraja, and Rolf Schromgens (Trivago).

Since its inception in 2016 by Eirini Rapti, Inne has raised $18.8M backed by strategic health and women investors. This funding will enable the company to expand its team and double down on its investments in data science, algorithmic development and content so it can continue to provide personalised health data. The startup’s aim is to be a trusted partner to millions of women worldwide.

Assisting women to track health & make better body decisions

The Berlin-based startup deploys its biosensor mini lab with which women can measure their daily progesterone levels which serve as a key indicator of reproductive health and ovulation. The process requires saliva as opposed to temperature, which has been proven to be as accurate as a lab progesterone test in producing a more precise picture of a woman’s menstrual cycle.

Since launching the mini lab which received medical device regulation in 2019, Inne has assisted thousands of women across Germany, Switzerland, Austria and the UK to track their progesterone levels with the app, gathering & processing over 100,000 hormonal data points. Users benefit from years of dedicated investment into data science and health research, thus getting personalised insights that otherwise be impossible to access on a daily basis any other way.

Inne customers have used the product as a tracker to help them determine when to get pregnant. Others have also used it to avoid pregnancy, with other customers using it to track and manage erratic menstrual cycles. Inne has now kickstarted the process of achieving certification as an official contraceptive option following the results of an ongoing clinical study.

“Women’s health is consistently one of the most under-funded areas of medical research, with women only officially required to be included in clinical research in the US for the first time in 1993. This means women have less information about what is happening to their bodies and that makes it harder for them to improve their health and lifestyle. This information gap has been a driving force for me in creating Inne and I’m thrilled that we are now able to help women learn about their bodies and be proactive in managing their own health and fertility. Inne can be the trusted partner for millions of women around the world, democratising access to insight and information.” remarked Eirini Rapti, Inne’s founder and CEO.

What’s next for Inne?

Inne is now expanding its progesterone tracking feature to perimenopause via an exclusive US partnership with Phenology, the novel women’s health brand from the team at Hologram Sciences. As part of the deal, the mini lab will be leveraged to help women track hormonal changes during perimenopause which is the early stage of menopause when hormone levels start falling. Women and doctors can find it difficult to identify the onset of perimenopause owing to erratic menstrual cycles at this stage.

Data collected by the mini lab will enable women to better understand personal details about ovulation and how individual progesterone levels may cause or worsen certain symptoms. This information will help them better adjust their lifestyles to minimise the side effects resulting.

On top of extending its tracking to perimenopause, Inne will also add the ability to analyse stress through a dedicated cortisol tracking strip. This is meant to address the reported higher stress levels experienced by women of all ages. Sustained cortisol levels affect the body by lowering oestrogen levels which can result in weight gain, night sweats, sleep problems and mood swings. By tracking cortisol levels, women can apply the insights drawn to make lifestyle adjustments that improve their long-term health. This can be particularly resourceful if they are attempting to get pregnant or manage perimenopause symptoms.

Simone Brummelhuis, Partner at Borski Fund, elaborated, “We are delighted to invest in Inne and its exceptional team led by Eirini Rapti. The product is best in class for in-home testing of hormone levels. In a short period of time, Inne has been shown to lead the trend of quantified self-solutions for women. We are enthusiastic because of the multiple use cases, from fertility to contraception and perimenopause.”

Inne’s perimenopause feature will initially launch in the US in a closed beta with its partner Phenology. An expanded product launch is expected later this year. The cortisol monitoring feature will also be available in the US in 2022. These features will be launched in Europe and the UK at a later date.

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