The hot subsectors of women's health tech to watch
Women's health tech companies are having a moment, but Francesca de Quesada Covey of TheVentureCity says four types of businesses are attracting the most investor money.
Why it matters: As the broad category grows more crowded, stakeholders are eager to identify winning subcategories.
Zoom in: De Quesada Covey is betting on the following areas to lead the way to success:
- Proactive fertility and reproductive health.
- Mental health, specifically from the lens of creating community and combatting loneliness.
- Home tests that include vitamin deficiencies and autoimmune disorders.
- Parenting and decision-making support, particularly for new parents.
Details: De Quesada Covey leads early-stage investments for TheVentureCity, a Miami-based firm whose bets range from fintech, sports and events to health care and fitness.
By the numbers: Women’s health startups collected $1.16 billion in 2022, twice the amount raised in 2020, per PitchBook.
State of play: Dozens of companies across the categories de Quesada Covey highlighted have raised significant capital in recent years. For example:
- Combining fertility financing and care support, Future Family last spring raised $25 million in Series B funding at an $80 million valuation.
- Mental and reproductive health tech startup Caraway last summer pulled in $10.5 million in seed capital.
- Home testing company Everly Well in 2021 raised $75 million on the heels of closing a $175 million Series D round.
- Parenthood support startup Oath last summer collected $6 million in a seed extension.
What she's saying: "For so long, the market has been dictated by people in the traditional medical profession," de Quesada Covey tells Axios. "We’re seeing a change in who’s dictating what."
- "Women want to take control of their health care," she adds.
Between the lines: Successful companies will provide users with a series of options to address a condition, whether that's a more holistic approach or a targeted intervention, she says.
- "I think the products that will do best will help people distinguish the signal from the noise in the data," de Quesada Covey says.
Driving the news: Women founders and patients are turning to health tech tools earlier — in a more preventive way — particularly when it comes to fertility and reproductive health, she adds.
- "Two years ago we saw lots of fertility deal activity around companies that treated you the moment you had a problem," de Quesada Covey says. "Now we’re seeing a lot that starts much earlier, trying to proactively address things."
Be smart: That appetite for preventive care creates a window of opportunity for companies providing more holistic approaches, she says.
- "There’s a new reality where people, especially women, want alternatives to traditional medicine and want a full body approach — not just 'Go see this specialist,' but first, let's make sure you’re drinking this amount of water and exercising this much."
What's next: De Quesada Covey predicts the women's health tech market will reach an inflection point in 2028 "as these companies get really big and have more data to prove out their theses."