A top VC explains why she is banking on these 3 trends in women’s health

Healthcare has become a vibrant area in the startup landscape — and companies particularly focused on women’s health have garnered more attention from venture capitalists in recent years.

But there is still work to be done when it comes to funding and meeting the diverse needs of this vast population. Where does the puck fly?

“I’m confident that for 2023 … this momentum continues and you start taking these companies public, you start to see real evidence of some of these bets on women’s health,” argues Anu Duggal, founding partner of the venture Company Female Gründerfonds. “I think there’s never been a better moment to build in this space.”

Duggal’s 8-year-old firm, which boasts LPs such as Melinda French Gates and Goldman Sachs, invests only in female-led startups and focuses on seed-stage investments with $100 million in assets under management, including one The $57 million fund that closed last year, which Duggal tells me cumulatively, is only about 30% up so far. The Female Founders Fund is an early investor in women’s health startups like Maven Clinic — which last year became the first unicorn or $1 billion-plus startup in women’s and family health. Overall funding for so-called femtech, or start-ups focused on tech-enabled products targeting women’s health and the needs of people with menstruation, surpassed $1 billion for the first time last year, according to PitchBook data. dollar mark (other estimates, such as McKinsey’s, put the figure at $2.5 billion).

The other day, over coffee one morning, I asked Duggal what to expect for the next few years in terms of healthcare trends. your predictions? Menopause, prevention and startups with a focus on breast cancer.

“We did a study on menopause two years ago, and it’s insane: the lack of products and services that really appeal to these consumers,” notes Duggal. She argues that as the current generation “starts to enter perimenopause,” expectations for such products and services will only increase. Whether the “through HRT [hormone replacement therapy], whether it’s through telemedicine or through consumer products, I think that’s a really big opportunity,” she believes. There, Duggal invested in Kindra, which makes science-based menopause care products, while Maven Clinic also recently launched a menopause offering. The opportunity from a dollar spending perspective in this area could be great: Duggal says that according to the company’s deep dive into menopause, “a woman spends an average of 10 years in menopause and perimenopause spending $20,000.” (On the other hand, startups targeting period mentoring, like Sunny Period, are also gaining traction, as Jessica explored earlier this week.)

Duggal believes that healthcare, an area that has grown in importance in recent years, will also gain in importance.

“We’ve treated health as a kind of symptom and then as a solution-based model, and I think a lot more innovation is needed to get to the root of the problems people face and prevent them from becoming chronic . ‘ says Duggal, whether that’s addressing things like ‘blood sugar, whether it’s sleep, whether it’s exercise’. There she references a recent investment in a startup (not yet announced) that offers a primary care membership model that combines a doctor, a holistic practitioner and a concierge. “They really complement each other,” she argues, “so I think more of an integrated approach to healthcare that takes a preventative approach” is crucial.

Meanwhile, startups aimed at preventing and treating breast cancer are attracting attention and funding, with venture capital flowing into companies focused on things like imaging. Duggal believes that “we’re starting to see more innovation” in this area, noting that “venture capital funding for women’s healthcare as a category has tripled in the last five years, but we’re long overdue for innovation and.” Investing to address this incredibly important public health issue, both from a preventative and curative perspective.”

The appeal is encouraging, but funding for female-led startups and those focused on women’s health still lags other categories by a wide margin. Still, Duggal is confident her firm can help companies meet the health needs of millions of women — while making millions for their investors in the process.

FTX M&A Fuel: Sam Bankman-Fried’s crypto exchange powerhouse FTX is in talks to raise new funds, in part to power “efficient acquisitions” in the crypto space, Bankman-Fried said at the Wall Street Journal‘s Tech Live conference on Tuesday. FTX has been an active investor in ailing companies during the so-called crypto winter, although Bankman-Fried said future acquisitions would focus more on acquiring retail users than bailing out ailing companies.

Until tomorrow,

Anne Srader
Twitter: @AnneSraders
E-mail: [email protected]
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Jackson Fordyce curated the deals section of today’s newsletter.


SiMa.aia San Jose-based machine learning company, has raised $67 million for Series B1 expansion funding. MSD partner, Loyalty management and research company, Strengthen partner, Capital of Dell Technologies, Wing Venture Capital, Old venture partner, +ND capitaland Lip This Tan invested in the round.

ionbloxa Fremont, California-based lithium-ion cell company raised $24 million in Series B funding. lily, Applied ventures, Catalus capitaland others invested in the round.

right movementa New York-based provider of virtual musculoskeletal physical therapy, raised $21 million in Series A funding. Special Surgery Hospital and Flare Capital invested in the round.

Uniteda Montréal-based workflow management company, raised $20 million in Series B funding. CDPQ led the round and was joined by investors including Bessemer Venture Partners and Rainfall Ventures.

all stacksa Raleigh-based predictive forecasting and risk management platform, raised $12.3 million in Series A funding. Companyon Ventures led the round and was joined by investors including Atlassian Ventures, Creative Co, Hyperplane Venture Capital, S3and Bala investments.

devtronan in-house open source DevOps platform based in Gurugram, India, raised $12 million in funding led by Insight Partners.

Daya London-based gynecological health startup, raised $11.5 million in Series A funding from Mass Mutual Ventures and other.

bit.ioa San Francisco-based database building and collaboration platform owned by Postgres, raised $7.5 million in seed funding. Battery Ventures and GreatPoint Ventures led the round and joined Neo and Combine.

arnicaan Atlanta-based behavior-based solution for software supply chain security, raised $7 million in seed funding co-led by Joule Ventures and First Rays Venture Partner.

Swantidea San Francisco-based GTM Tech stack management platform, raised $7 million in seed funding. Menlo Ventures, Scribble Ventures, burst capital, Neoand village global invested in the round.

pixeraa London-based game-based learning platform, raised $4.5 million in funding. LocalGlobe led the round and was supported by investors including the founders of SEE IT, ERMand York I.E.

Eliona New York-based digital health technology company, raised $3.3 million in seed funding. NEA, Max dare, 8VC, Alley Corp, Download Venturesand floating point invested in the round.

Vixtraan import credit fintech based in Sao Paulo, raised $3 million in pre-Series A funding. bravery capital led the round and joined IS.

Hey rituala Santa Monica-based couples support company, raised $2 million in pre-seed funding. ventures from scratch led the round and was joined by investors including Samsung Next, Verissimo Ventures, 97212 ventures, Fresh fund, homeward venturesand other angels.


Worldwide productiona Sole Source Capital Acquired portfolio company Left Coast Food Company, a San Marcos, California-based foodservice retailer of frozen, dry goods, and fruits and vegetables. Financial terms were not disclosed.


GIC, IK partner, perspicacityand parquet acquired a majority stake Unither Pharmaceuticalsa manufacturer and developer of sterile unit doses based in Amiens, France Ardian. Financial terms were not disclosed.


FireTeam solutionssupported by AE industry partnermerged with case advice, a Leesburg, Virginia-based software development and engineering service provider for the US Secret Service. Financial terms were not disclosed.

flora growth agreed to purchase Global Health Franchise, a Vancouver-based medical cannabis and pharmaceutical industry operator. Financial terms were not disclosed.

iCIMS acquired SkillSurvey, a Malvern, Pennsylvania-based software company used to validate candidate skills and qualifications. Financial terms were not disclosed.


TPGan alternative wealth management firm based in Fort Worth and San Francisco pamela Pavkov as partner and head of TPG NEXT. She used to be with me Jasper Ridge Partners.

A top VC explains why she is banking on these 3 trends in women’s health

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