Long gone are the days when femtech startups were only confined to products catering to female reproductive health.
Quoting American seed fund Rock Health, “We shouldn’t have to say it, but here it goes: women are so much more than their reproductive organs and the opportunity extends beyond the connotations of the widely-used term ‘femtech’ and see an untapped market capable of supporting the diversity of women’s experiences.”
Sure enough, the current sector has an interesting mix of market participants including startups who are not just providing digital health solutions for women’s health but also catering towards women empowerment in general.
The global femtech industry poised to grow at over US$3.04 billion by 2030, however, there have been concerns the sector has been growing at an unusually slow rate.
Experts still believe femtech sector promises plenty of profitability but for it to truly grow, the investment world and tech developers need to be “more aware and focused” about the opportunities that the industry brings.
This is why e27 is proud to present you a list of the most notable femtech startups in Southeast Asia, completed with lists of organisations that aims to empower women in tech and a bonus list femtech companies in Asia.
Companies that are building solutions for women
1. theAsianparent (Singapore)
The Singaporean company started as a parenting blog and has since evolved into a multinational tech company and digital publishing house that focuses on content and community platforms for Asian women. Its main goal is to help parents have healthy pregnancies and raise healthy children and families.
Recently, theAsianparent launched a new feature on their mobile app that aims to help reduce stillbirth rates in Southeast Asia.
With over 30 million monthly users on its website, it is undoubtedly one of the most successful femtech companies in Southeast Asia.
Latest funding: Undisclosed funding from SCB 10X.
2. Lucy (Singapore)
An online digital bank that aims to empower women (largely migrant workers and home business owners) through its financial services specially catered for women.
Its offerings include easy loan management, international money transfer, no-interest salary advances, and mentor support.
Latest funding: US$377,000 in pre-seed funding.
3. Rags2Riches (Philippines)
A design house that helps women in poor communities in the Philippines make a living out eco-ethical fashion by using upcycled scrap cloth, organic materials, and indigenous fabric materials. Its products are sold via an online platform called Things That Matter.
Latest funding: US$133,000 via government grants.
4. Sehati TeleCTG (Indonesia)
An Indonesian health-tech company that improves infant and maternal mortality rate through its in-built device low-cost fetal monitor device, TeleCTG.
Also Read: Meet the 30 women entrepreneurs selected for Zone Startups’s empoWer programme
Its device is able to deliver data from remote locations to an obstetrician/gynaecologist (OB/GYN) based in a hospital in the city, who then analyses the output and provides feedback.
Latest funding: Undisclosed
5. Fig Health (Singapore)
Fig Health helps expectant mothers book in-home fertility screening tests. Besides that, the company also provides in-home services to identify hormonal imbalances and nutritional deficiencies.
According to the company, the platform does not replace the doctor-patient relationship but rather provides informational and emotional support that helps women have more informed discussions with their practitioners about their health concerns.
Latest funding: US$100,000, Antler
6. Hannah Life (Singapore)
A Y-Combinator-backed fertility startup that helps couples get pregnant and conceive in a clinically proven manner.
Latest funding: US$2 million
Organisations that are empowering women in tech
1. 21st Century (21C) Girls (Singapore)
Founded in 2014, 21C Girls organises coding lessons for girls aged from eight to 15 and AI initiatives for youth aged from 16 to 22. Its two main courses are “Code in the Community” and “Empower”.
The first programme is a Google-sponsored initiative that aims to bring free coding classes to young Singaporeans from deprived backgrounds. While the other is a national movement that teaches Singaporean youth AI and data science techniques.
Latest funding: Undisclosed]
2. She Loves Tech (Singapore)
An organisation that hosts global competitions for women in tech with the objective of closing the funding gap for female entrepreneurs.
The winner of the competition receives financial support, education, and mentorship support from the company’s network and partners.
Latest funding: Undisclosed
3. The Codette Project
An organisation that aims to empower Muslim and minority women in Singapore with awareness and access to tech. It hosted workshops, meetups, and hackathons to help Muslim and minority women learn programming and problem-solving skills in a safe environment.
Latest funding: Government grants, donations, Facebook Community Leadership Programme (2019)
Also Read: Breaking the glass ceiling: These 6 women are making their marks in deep tech field
Notable mentions: Femtech companies from outside of SEA
1. Coly (Japan)
A company that makes anime-based games targeted at women. Despite never taking VC capital, the company has recently gone public.
The seven-year-old company creates games that unlike other games don’t have the usual aim of winning but instead gives users the thrill through its storyline and characters.
According to a Bloomberg article, three-quarters of the studio’s 200 employees are women.
Latest funding: US$105.7 billion, self-funded
2. Niram.AI (India)
A deep-tech startup based in India that develops solutions to detect breast cancer early on.
Its product is patented, portable, non-invasive, radiation-free, and claims to measures the temperature of the chest region to detect early-stage breast cancer.
Latest funding: US$6 million, Dream Incubator, Beenext
Image Credit: Mimi Thian on Unsplash
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