Berlin, 25 May, 2022: inne, the healthtech startup leveraging technology to empower women to understand their reproductive health, is today announcing it has raised an additional $10 million in funding led by DSM Venturing. Borski Fund and Calm Storm Ventures also participated in the round, along with high-profile angels Taavet Hinrikus (Wise), Dr. Fiona Pathiraja, and Rolf Schromgens (Trivago). inne will use the funding to continue to develop its minilab and platform to serve more areas of women’s health and expand into the US.
Founded in 2017 by Eirini Rapti, who previously spent years working in healthcare, inne was created to help women harness the power of technology to understand more about the hormonal levels of their bodies. With women’s health woefully underfunded and researched - of the $198 billion invested in pharmaceutical research in 2020 just 1% of funding was dedicated to non-breast cancer related female health conditions - inne gives women the flexibility and freedom to assess and understand their health.
Using inne’s biosensor minilab, women can discover their daily progesterone levels - a key indicator of reproductive health and an ovulation indicator - by performing a daily saliva test. By using saliva - rather than temperature - the minilab has been proven to be as accurate as a lab progesterone test, to produce a more precise picture of a woman’s menstrual cycle.
Image: Zaira Biagini
Opening up the world of women’s health
Since launching the minilab and receiving medical device regulation in 2019, inne has helped thousands of women across Germany, Switzerland, Austria and the UK to track their progesterone levels with the app processing over 100,000 hormonal data points. Each user benefits from years of dedicated investment into data science and health research to get personalised insights that would be impossible to access on a daily basis any other way. inne customers have used the product to help them get pregnant, while others use it to track, manage and understand their cycles. inne has now begun the process of achieving certification as an official contraceptive product, following the results of an ongoing clinical study.
With its aim to offer services to women at all stages of their life, inne is now expanding its progesterone tracking feature to perimenopause through an exclusive US partnership with Phenology, the new women’s health brand from the team at Hologram Sciences. As part of the offering, the minilab will be leveraged to help women track hormonal changes during perimenopause - the early stages of menopause when hormone levels start falling - marking the first time it has been possible to do so using a personalised at-home testing device. Women and doctors can find the onset of perimenopause difficult to identify as menstrual cycles can be erratic at this stage. Women will be able to use the data tracked by the minilab to understand more about ovulation and how their progesterone levels may cause or worsen certain symptoms, giving them the information they need to make lifestyle changes to minimise side effects.
As well as extending its tracking to perimenopause, inne will also be adding the ability to analyse stress through a dedicated cortisol tracking strip. This comes as women of all ages are reporting higher stress levels, following a two-year period of remote work, default caregiver status, worries about the Covid-19 pandemic and now an ongoing war, the result of which is detrimentally impacting their health. Sustained cortisol levels affect the body by lowering oestrogen levels which can lead to weight gain, night sweats, sleep problems and mood swings. By tracking cortisol levels, women will be able to use these insights to make lifestyle adjustments to improve their long-term health. This can be particularly useful if they are trying to get pregnant or manage perimenopause symptoms.
Image: Zaira Biagini
Expanding inne’s reach and impact
inne will launch its perimenopause feature initially in the US in a closed beta with its partner, Phenology, with an expanded product launch later this year. The cortisol tracking feature will also be available in the US in 2022. Both features will be launched in Europe and the UK at a later date.
To help enable this, inne has raised $10 million in funding, bringing its total funding raised to $18.8 million from new and existing investors, along with strategic health and women investors. The funding will enable the company to expand its team and invest more in data science, algorithmic development and content, so it can continue to provide personalised health data and be a trusted partner to millions of women around the world.
Eirini Rapti, founder and CEO at inne, said: “Women’s health is consistently one of the most under-funded areas of medical research, with women only officially required to be included in clinical research in the US for the first time in 1993. This means women have less information about what is happening to their bodies and that makes it harder for them to improve their health and lifestyle. This information gap has been a driving force for me in creating inne and I’m thrilled that we are now able to help women learn about their bodies and be proactive in managing their own health and fertility. inne can be the trusted partner for millions of women around the world, democratising the access to insight and information.”
Jess Graham, GM Phenology, said: “inne’s unique hormone tracking technology supports women by helping them anticipate, manage and navigate menopause. Phenology shares inne’s ambitions to improve women’s experience of the menopause by allowing them to learn more about their individual journey through the menopause transition and helping them to better predict when they might be at risk of some of their most challenging symptoms. Together we can provide better care for US women during their menopause by being the first solution in the US to measure salivary hormone levels using a reliable at-home method.”
Pieter Wolters, Managing Director, DSM Venturing, said: “We believe the market for women’s health is largely underserved, and inne’s hormone tracking technology gives women greater control in managing and navigating their own hormonal health journey. We are excited to be supporting inne through an investment and a close collaboration with Hologram Sciences. “
Simone Brummelhuis, Partner at Borski Fund, said: We are delighted to invest in inne and its exceptional team led by Eirini Rapti. The product is best in class for in-home testing of hormone levels. In a short period of time, inne has been shown to lead the trend of quantified self-solutions for women. We are enthusiastic because of the multiple use cases, from fertility to contraception and perimenopause. At Borski Fund, we are dedicated to investing in the femtech space and in AI solutions because this represents a huge opportunity for the benefit of all women.”
Image: Zaira Biagini