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This startup boosts female employee performance via hormonal cycle scheduling, snaps $600K

Essence app
Picture credits: Essence

A handful of femtech startups have built their businesses around offering women to track their periods and cycles to help women better understand and manage their hormones, natural cycles and moods. The Essence App is one of them! An app designed to help women optimise their health and productivity according to their menstrual cycle, and now they have raised $600K in funding. The oversubscribed round was led by female investors, including the Berkeley SkyDeck Fund, Davidovs VC, Growing Well Partners, and prominent angels Eugenia Dunaeva, Ksenia Kapoor, Jana Gashkova, Elena Enache, Elena Zhigalina, and Konstantin Siniushin. 

Periods-tracking app with a twist 

Essence leverages science and AI to boost the performance and well-being of women in the workforce by up to 33%. It optimises their schedules, fitness routines, and diets as per each phase of their hormonal cycle. By reshaping corporate culture and offering personalised expert recommendations, Essence aims to help companies attract and retain diverse talent while fostering inclusive workplaces. 

Essence declares menstrual health as the new mental health in corporate settings. This focus on menstrual health is already evident in countries like Spain and the UK. 

“Femtech is a highly undervalued and impact-oriented market and half of the world’s population are potential users,” said Elina Vale, Co-Founder & CEO of the Essence App, and former Global Director of Women in Tech. “Menstrual health is a missing puzzle piece in improving women’s well-being. Cycle-related symptoms are still a real struggle for hundreds of millions. The Essence App offers a valuable digital tool for companies, helping businesses adjust their work environments and provide tailored support to those who need it.”

Idea behind Essence 

Elina Valeeva, CEO and co-founder is the former Global Program Director at Women in Tech. Rustam Galiev, CPO and co-founder, is a serial entrepreneur and women empowerment ally.

They founded Essence in 2023 after noticing a gap in the health and wellbeing tech space. While there were many apps designed for the well-being of users, the market lacked a period-tracking app to help people manage their physical and mental health. Now, the femtech platform offers a more holistic approach to women’s health.

What makes Essence stand out?

While there are platforms such as Flo to monitor menstrual cycles, Essence not only tracks users’ periods, but also helps them manage their diet, work schedule, social activities, and fitness. It enables them to do all these with an understanding of their hormonal cycle.

While many companies offer mental health and well-being programs, they are mostly gender-neutral or focus on men. Essence acknowledges the biological differences between the genders and helps people with menstrual cycles work productively with the same. 

What’s more, Essence is a B2B subscription model. The platform aims to achieve an annual recurring revenue of $1 million within the next 18 months.

Funds utilisation

The fresh funds will be used to enhance the Essence App, attract new customers, and research the connection between productivity and the menstrual cycle.

Rosana Rabines, impact investor and Managing Partner of GWP Impact, a global family office, said: “We are thrilled to be working with a team who brings world-class expertise, a responsible, data-driven approach, and relentless energy to address menstrual well-being.”

Marina Davidova, managing partner at Davidovs VC added: “Redistributing workload around the cycle helps women align work with their well-being and truly be the better versions of themselves both at work and in life.”

Caroline Winnett, executive director at Berkeley SkyDeck, said “It’s about time someone developed a technology to optimise women’s work productivity based on their cycles. SkyDeck chose Essence for our program because we knew that they were the startup that would relentlessly devote themselves to building this much-needed platform.”

Eugenia Dunaeva, angel investor and former partnerships lead at Meta and Expedia Group, sees Essence as a transformative force. “With a subscription-based B2B approach, Essence is poised to achieve an impressive ARR both in the US and EMEA, spearheading a transformative change in this space.”

Essence advisor and angel investor Ksenia Kapoor emphasised: “Today we often talk about equality for women in the workplace, but that’s not enough. The Essence App is an actionable step towards creating a support system to help women get closer to where they want to be in terms of well-being.” 

Konstantin Siniushin, angel investor and Managing Partner of Untitled Ventures noted: “I am happy to invest in the Essence App because, for me, it is not only an opportunity to enter a market that is still at the beginning of its wave but also to incentivise a strong team to make this world better by removing the stigma of menstruation in the business environment.”

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