I am a proud investor in the FemTech sector, a new and growing industry targeted at improving women’s lives.
One of my investments is Elvie, a London-based company founded by Tania Boler, and is testament to the industry’s growing potential. Frustrated to find that women’s health has been given insufficient attention in both the technological and research fields, Boler set out to make rectifying this her priority and to “get women talking about health issues more”. Two of Elvie’s key products have helped her achieve this: the Elvie Pump and Trainer. The former is for breastfeeding, the latter is for the pelvic floor.
Boler’s task goes beyond tackling female health problems, seeking to open up the dialogue around these topics and de-stigmatize the industry. She hopes this will encourage more researches and investors, like myself, to give to the industry the support which it is in desperate need of. Her products have helped turn the tables from a reluctancy to share negative experiences, towards a more open, positive discussions amongst female peers. Boler recognised that women are still made to feel ashamed by something as natural as breastfeeding or breast pumping in public, so her incredibly discreet and silent Pump helps mothers feel more comfortable in these settings.
One success story includes a woman who, because of her Elvie breast pump, was able to go out to the Bahamas on a rescue mission during Hurricane Dorian, help with the efforts, and continue pumping. Boler’s creative strategy has been key to her success: during 2018’s London Fashion Week a model was sent down the runway while pumping; in August 2019 her #FreeTheFeed campaign saw five giant inflatable breasts appear across London’s skyline. Elvie’s products have even found their way into Oscar Nominee Gift Bags and, impressively, the Pump sold out within five minutes of its U.S. market debut last year. At the heart of everything the Elvie does is a desire to encourage women to talk openly about their health and Boler remains determined to change women’s lives for the better. Whilst the FemTech market is flourishing, there is still a long way to go in terms of research and understanding of women’s bodies and health. I hope to continue watching the sector closely and see what novel ideas and developments come to fruition.
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 similar in size to a small venture fund across Europe and the US, including in healthcare, fintech, and deep tech.