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Exclusive: Annabella seeds $8.5M for breast pump tech

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Jan 4, 2024
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Illustration: Tiffany Herring/Axios

Israeli startup Annabella raised an $8.5 million seed to expand its FDA-approved breast pump in the U.S., co-founders Masha Waldberg and Uri Yaffee tell Axios exclusively.

Why it matters: Though many breastfeeding people use pumps, the technology to make the process more efficient and comfortable has been slow to evolve.

Details: Investors include Israel Shark Tank's Yasmin Lukatz (founder of the Israel Collaboration Network), serial entrepreneur and investor Oren Dobronsky, as well as Zohar Gilon of Tamar Technology Ventures and Menachem Weinfeld of Starry Group.

How it works: Annabella's FDA-cleared breast pump includes a tongue that simulates baby's suckling (and, according to Waldberg, stimulates hormones) and an adjustable breast shield.

  • Currently sold directly to consumers, its single electric breast pump and pumping bra costs $250 but for the first few months it will be $199 USD, per the company's website.
  • Since February of 2023, Annabella has sold over 4,000 breast pumps through Shilav's retail stores in Israel, per the company.

What they're saying: "Replicating nature is a very humbling experience but we have a dream to erase all negative talk when it comes to breastfeeding and pumping," says Waldberg.

What's next: Annabella will use fresh funds to onboard U.S. insurance providers to make its product more accessible to consumers.

  • The company aims to start selling in the UK at the end of this year.
  • Annabella expects to raise more funding in the future, Waldberg says, noting timing depends on sales and marketing efforts.

State of play: In the wake of legislation like the PUMP Act and Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which require employers to provide accommodations for needs related to pregnancy, breastfeeding support has moved into the spotlight in the U.S.

  • Pumpspotting, a Kittery, Maine-based community-driven breastfeeding support platform, raised a $2.2 million in seed funding.
  • Elvie, a U.K.-based developer of connected tech hardware for women's health, including a silent, wearable breast pump, raised $42 million in Series B funding.
  • Babylist, an Oakland, Calif.-based baby registry business, acquired medical equipment supplier SourceMD and launched a new business called Babylist Health.

The bottom line: "In an area that is so vital like breastfeeding, women have been suffering and sacrificing," Yaffe says. "We want to help them have a pleasant and efficient experience."

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