How to Create a Successful Femtech Startup
Femtech is a growing trend that is often mentioned among startups. It focuses on improving and expanding tech solutions centered on female healthcare. Femtech is fast gaining global recognition, especially given the recent decision by the US Supreme Court on reproductive rights.
Statista shows that the global femtech market was worth US$ 22 billion in 2020 and could be well over $60 billion by 2027. This means you can create a profitable business while contributing to women’s empowerment across the globe.
Femtech startups: Tips to get started
Femtech is projected to remain competitive for a long time to come. The following tips will guide you if you want to know how to launch a femtech startup and proffer solutions to women’s issues.
Put Product Quality First
Though there is a high demand for femtech apps, there are already some strong competitors you’ll have to consider and analyze. Your product idea has to speak to a target audience. Of course, women in general, but you must go further with your product strategy.
Consider the demographics of the women who will utilize your app. What are their locations, ages, average income, and background? Do market research and learn about other existing solutions for your target audience. Use this information to improve the quality of your product.
Since femtech is still relatively new, you’ll need to create awareness among your target audience about your app. This may involve promoting your product alongside your competitors and explaining exactly how your product can help your audience.
You don’t need to have a perfect first launch. However, you must be able to accept criticism and constructive feedback to improve your product. It’s best first to develop a prototype for tests among your target audience for the sake of data collection.
In most cases, consumers will exhibit different needs that may be contrary to your initial thoughts. So, this data will help you ascertain what works and needs improvement. Ensure you implement efficient methods for measuring your product’s quality, such as reviews and beta testing.
Build an Experienced Team of Women
As much as possible, attract skilled women to help build your product. A team of women is guaranteed to make your startup more attractive to investors and consumers and give more credibility to your business.
Finding the right software development team and strategically allocating funds for the development process, marketing, and other expenses is essential. You can choose to build an in-house software development team or outsource it to professionals to save costs.
If you choose to build in-house, you’ll need to consider everything from salaries to infrastructure and other needs. This can be very expensive. Alternatively, you can save funds by outsourcing it to a country where you can obtain skilled professionals at reasonable rates.
Remember that you don’t have to be good at everything because you’re a founder. Assess your weaknesses and strengths and look for team members with complementary strengths to create a reliable team of professionals.
In addition, ensure your team shares in your vision for the product. You’re more likely to build a successful product when everyone understands and works towards the same goals.
Take Precautions to Protect User Data
There is a significant concern about data privacy across all industries. It’s especially critical for medicine and finance since customers have to trust you with their data which can sometimes be highly personal and identifiable.
As the femtech industry is closely linked with healthcare, you’ll likely need to get your product approved by regulatory bodies. If your product transfers or stores the personal data of its users, you need to ensure it complies with the different legislation regarding how companies handle personal information.
If your femtech app is developed for the US market, it must comply with HIPAA standards for healthcare organizations. You’ll need to adhere to GDPR and any other legislation in the European Union.
Your product will likely use sensitive personal data, so you should know that any data security issues could end your startup. Especially since the recent buzz about female reproductive health has given women more reasons to be concerned about their privacy.
Have a Key Differentiator
What’s unique about your product? A key differentiator is something that makes your product memorable. It’s the reason your target audience will keep using your product regardless of the competition.
Though spending so much time comparing your product to your competitors is not advisable, you’ll need a solid commitment to ensuring your company stands out. Formalize your idea and create a business plan showing how you’ll monetize your app.
Research your competitors’ existing products and ensure you’re providing your audience with something more efficient or advanced. You can also offer strategies like better customer experience, building into new markets, and constant product improvement.
Listen to the Feedback You Get
It’s easy for founders to be blind to the faults of their products or services. After spending much time developing your product, you can easily dismiss certain issues as small or overlook problems that may be clear to someone on the outside.
It would be best if, throughout the development process, you ask users about their needs and expectations of your product. Pay close attention to negative and positive feedback so that you can maintain and improve features as the case may be.
Accepting criticism can be difficult, but it’s a skill that all successful entrepreneurs must have. Your journey doesn’t end after deploying your app. You’ll need to analyze its real-world performance among your target audience.
Analytics are great for monitoring your app’s traffic and usage by your audience, providing you with valued insights for any improvement. Also, ensure that the periodic maintenance of your femtech app is always considered.
Challenges in Building a Successful Femtech Business
Despite the wealth of opportunities in the femtech industry, building a femtech startup can present many challenges. Though women are more open to using digital tools for their health, femtech companies still face the major challenge of getting funding.
Startups across various industries usually find it challenging to raise funds early. As for femtech, investors may not understand the issues around women’s health, so it may not be easy to see a value proposition.
Many femtech businesses have single products that only focus on women’s reproductive health. Though the market demand is quite sizable, it can be challenging to sway investors who want to see scalability. The stigma surrounding women’s issues makes it hard for femtech founders to discuss their plans freely.
Many women founders shy away from asking for funding from VCs. And when they do, they tend to get less than men. Though the US sees more women-owned businesses emerge, women still don’t request external funding.
A survey among 20,000 small businesses in the US showed that only 25% of female entrepreneurs seek outside funding throughout their business. However, things are changing as the male-dominated VC industry is witnessing more femtech entrepreneurs create new solutions.
Most femtech founders are passionate about the solutions they bring, usually because they have experienced the problems. However, this does not always represent the whole market. For this reason, working with healthcare professionals to build the best product is essential.
A startup can face challenges entering the femtech market through B2B channels or cross-market entry as countries have different healthcare systems. For instance, it can be difficult for a European startup to navigate the US femtech market.
Femtech Sectors You Can Explore
The femtech revolution is here, and there are several aspects of women’s health that femtech apps can address. Typically, they can be categorized as follows:
- Menstruation: Period apps for monitoring cycles and noting symptoms. [forminator_form id="101900"]
- Fertility: Apps that can let women know when to try to get pregnant. They also address IVF (in vitro fertilization) and egg freezing.
- Birth control: Besides contraception apps, some companies like Nurx provide prescriptions for telemedicine and last-mile delivery of birth control products.
- Menopause: Providing and consulting for women in menopause.
- Chronic conditions: Management and care of women facing certain chronic conditions like cardiovascular disease and mental health issues like depression.
- Sexual and gynecological health: Addressing sexual education and routine gynecologic care.
- Pregnancy and motherhood: Pregnancy planning and monitoring apps, baby monitoring apps, and others.
- Lifestyle: Body and mind solutions for women’s wellbeing.
People across all gender have begun talking about issues surrounding women’s health and finding possible solutions to them globally. From fertility tracking apps to mental health solutions, femtech products are taking the world by storm.
Many products and services are attempting to meet women’s specific needs. This development shows that we are making much progress in this area, abandoning the stigma surrounding sensitive feminine topics like pregnancy, menstruation, and sexual health.
As the industry is experiencing rapid growth, we witness new healthcare apps specifically for women. There’s still much room for entrepreneurs and new technologies to take the lead in this femtech revolution addressing women’s health issues.