Women-led Brands & Entrepreneurship

The Rise of FemTech & Women-Owned Businesses

Did you know that for centuries women were excluded from health tests, resulting in unfamiliar women’s diseases and misdiagnoses?

The good news is the rise of diversity and inclusion (D&I) cause in the past decades has brought a new light on this matter. Women’s health is no longer a taboo people can only discuss in a hushed voice in the back of the room.

In 1990, the Society for Women’s Health Research (SWHR) was founded, further improving women’s health through science, policy, and education. And since 2021, women’s health has become a hot topic even among venture capitalists as the femtech industry soars. Today, there are more than 1,300 femtech companies worldwide and the majority of them are founded, owned, and led by women.

What is femtech and how does it differ from the general technology industry? Why do femtech companies still face so many challenges in branding and marketing their products? How does femtech support women in business?

Chykalophia has worked with a number of aspiring and established femtech brands. Here we will cover everything you need to know about the rising femtech industry, including branding and marketing tips for femtech companies, as well as the powerful women who own the businesses.

What Is Femtech?

Femtech, or Female Technology, revolves around software and tech-enabled products that focus on women’s health. Simply put, femtech is the women-centric version of HealthTech delivered as:

  • Consumer products
  • Devices
  • Apps or software
  • Digital platforms
  • Diagnostics
  • Drugs, vitamins, and supplements
  • Telehealth
  • Services.

However, femtech is not just about making products or solutions for women. The industry also stands up for women’s health awareness and education, as well as empowers women physically and psychologically.

The term femtech was first coined in 2016 by Ida Tin, founder of the Clue app designed to track the menstrual and fertility cycle. But today, the FemTech industry has evolved beyond the menstrual health niche. According to FemTech Analytics, today we can find many FemTech brands designed to cater to these needs:

  • General health care
  • Sexual health
  • Menstrual health
  • Reproductive health and contraception
  • Pregnancy and nursing
  • Pelvic and uterine health care
  • Mental health
  • Menopause care
  • Longevity
  • Women’s wellness
  • Women’s hygiene
  • Beauty for femtech

Now, let’s take a look at some of the leading femtech brands to see how these categories are represented.

Examples of Thriving Femtech Brands

You may have found many femtech brands in the market, without being aware of the femtech industry itself. Sorted by the categories, some of the examples are:

Menstrual Health

Flo Health is a great example of this category. It is an AI-powered app that provides cycle predictions and education around general women’s health, pregnancy, motherhood, and even the LGBTQ+ community.

Sexual and Reproductive Health

For this category, we have Knix, which packs its underwear products in a way that empowers women. There’s also Organicup which is well-known for its menstrual cups but has expanded to period underwear and personal care as well.

Contraceptions

OCON produces spherical IUD and other products to treat women’s reproductive problems, such as abnormal uterine bleeding and heavy menstrual bleeding. The products are managed and designed by women to fit women’s anatomy and needs.

Menopause Care

Femtech embraces women of all ages, including those going through their menopause journey. Women experience different symptoms throughout the estrogen-declining process, and they can choose which Femarelle products according to what they feel.

Maternal Health and Family Care

Bloomlife shares awareness of mothers’ and babies’ health. The company connects ob-gyn doctors, maternal and fetal health data, and moms-to-be to provide personalized prenatal care.

General Health Care

The Women Heart organization provides support for women suffering from heart diseases. They raise awareness on how women experience heart disease differently from men, educate them to spot the symptoms, and do something to prevent, diagnose, treat, and thrive.

Beauty for Femtech

Skincare and makeup companies that belong to femtech are usually driven by women empowerment causes. One great example of this category is the woman-owned Bossy Cosmetics that transforms the stigma of being bossy into something strong and positive.

Women’s Hygiene

Awkward Essentials provides products that help make the usually awkward after-sex cleanups more fun and comfortable for women.


Apart from these direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands, other femtech companies also work on the B2B business model, targeting fertility clinics, hospitals, research institutes, and diagnostic centers.

Why Is Femtech Important?

It is worth repeating that women were excluded from health tests for centuries, and women are not a niche market. Almost half of the world is women! Therefore, the rise of femtech is an elemental breakthrough in women’s health, gender equality, and normalizing women’s talks.

Here are some of the main reasons why femtech is important not only for women but for everyone:

Designed by Women and For Women

The majority of femtech projects and companies involve women in the process. Even more amazing, 92% of femtech companies are founded and led by women. Who would understand women’s bodies and needs better than fellow women, right?

Raising Awareness and Education About Women’s Health

The vision and mission of femtech companies are mostly focused on empowering women. Femtech leaders around the world also actively promote women-related causes like menstrual health education, self-confidence, period poverty, mental health, and many more.

More and more femtech communities are also established, acting as a vessel for femtech leaders who strive to make a change and advance women’s health. Halo Femtech Podcast is one of them. It is a collaboration between our co-founder, Ari Krzyzek, and Kung Pik Liu, where they invite and talk with female leaders in the femtech industry, to share their insights, experience, and inspirations.

Normalizing Women’s Body and Health Talk

Gone are the days when we couldn’t talk freely about our menstruation, our mom’s menopause, breast care, pelvic floor exercises, cellulitis, post-natal stretch marks, mental condition, and even sexual harassment. In social media, we can see a great deal of femtech leaders and influencers speak up about all these once-taboo topics, inspiring more women – and men, too – to normalize these talks.

Femtech Empowers Women

As people start normalizing women’s talk, women’s empowerment is bound to happen. Femtech leaders and influencers support women to rise beyond traditional expectations, raise awareness that women have a choice, and educate about helping to lift each other up instead of bringing each other down.

Femtech Provides a Safe Space for Women

With mental health being a sub-category, women can now seek a safe space to tell what they really feel and want without any fear of judgment. You can ask questions, seek answers, and even report sexual harassment to femtech communities, and you will receive all the support you need – mentally and legally – from fellow women.

What Are the Challenges Faced by Femtech Companies and Women-Owned Businesses?

The rise of femtech doesn’t mean the industry faces no challenges. If you are a female entrepreneur, you might find these challenges relatable.

Social Expectations & Biases

The patriarchal culture believes that women should be at home doing chores, or even when they do work, women shouldn’t exceed men in terms of achievements and income. While the situation has improved, female leaders are still taken less seriously than their male counterparts.

Work-Life Balance

In line with the previous point, women are still expected to be responsible for family duties, even when they are jammed with their careers. This makes women entrepreneurs struggle between professional and personal lives.

Lack of Role Models

We see names like Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Mark Zuckerberg almost everywhere, every day. But successful women barely make it to the regular news. This is why mentorship is considered essential for women entrepreneurs.

Other than those common problems faced by women entrepreneurs, there are also other femtech-exclusive challenges women still need to deal with.

Lack of Narrative

While the femtech industry has been growing significantly, the hard truth is that there’s this stigma around women’s issues that makes communicating about femtech challenging.

When femtech leaders pitch to investors, they have a hard time delivering their brands’ value proposition. It’s not easy talking about menstruation, breast care, and uterine care to the men in the room, who comprise over 90% of the decision-makers at U.S. venture capital. This situation leads to the next issue: funding gaps.

Funding Gaps

The rate of Venture Capital investment in femtech is still quite low – only 4% in life science tech investment. And when they do get funding, they still receive less than men-owned and men-led companies.

Femtech Ads Censorship

Many femtech sub-categories are considered adult topics – sexual health, contraception, reproductive health – and Facebook Ads has a set of policies related to these topics. First, the ads must be targeted to people aged 18 and older, and must not focus on sexual pleasure. However, the line between sexual education and pleasure is often a blurry one. Sixty companies that serve women’s health have had their ads rejected by Facebook because of this vagueness.

So, what can femtech companies do to cope with these challenges?


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Branding Tips for Femtech Companies

Despite the challenges, there’s no stopping you from building a strong, empowering femtech company. Here are some of the things you can do to make sure your femtech branding strategy delivers the message you want to communicate to the world.

Find Your 5 P’s

Five P’s are the five brand pillars that include purpose, personality, positioning, perception, and promotion. These are the branding basics that work for every industry, including femtech, and you can learn about these brand pillars in our branding and digital marketing article.

Stick to Solid Data

When it comes to marketing, femtech can be a kind of uncharted territory. As we have mentioned earlier, many femtech ads have been rejected by Facebook, so it would be wise to stick to data when it comes to content and copy. As you may have guessed, FemTech Analytics is one of the resources from which we like to cite. You also need to refrain from too much wordplay as it could lead to ambiguity, which leads to rejection from the platform you’re using.

Be Creative with the Visuals

While the copy and content creation can be limited to some extent, you can be creative with the visuals. You’d want to be sure not to show body parts explicitly. For example, you can use a pair of round-shaped fruits like lemons or apples on a breast cancer awareness campaign, or use silhouettes to represent various body shapes.

Marketing Tips for Femtech Brands

Once you shape your brand, it’s time to start marketing to get your products or solutions out there.

Join Femtech Communities

Femtech is all about educating, empowering women, and raising awareness about women’s bodies and health. If you look around, so many people are working hard for this cause and they long to connect with people like you, who also care about femtech. Try reaching out to femtech communities like Women of Wearables, Days for Girls, Women Heart, Femtech Collective, and many more.

Connect with Like-Minded People

Once you have joined a community, you will get to know more people and bring your brand into the conversations. From there, your network will just keep snowballing.

Our co-founder, Ari Krzyzek, is actively networking with amazing women from the femtech industry. Some of the lady-bosses she’s met include Aishetu Fatima Dozie of Bossy Cosmetics, Beau Wangtrakuldee of Amorsui, and Celeste Mergens of Days for Girls, among others. You can tune in to their fruitful discussions about raising awareness on women’s health, branding for femtech, finding an investor, and many more on the Halo Femtech podcast.

Contribute to Guest Posts or Podcasts

This is a great way to market and create awareness for your brand in the femtech market. Along with Ari, Chykalophia has collaborated with a bunch of femtech companies or women-owned businesses and media. You can find our guest posts at Lioness Magazine, The Founding Moms, She Ventures Podcast, and many others. You can also find Ari at Entreprenista, Tkxel Podcast, 1871 Chicago, and more.

Femtech Is Here to Stay

Femtech has transformed from a small niche into an essential industry. There is no doubt that femtech will live on and grow even bigger in the years to come.

Chykalophia is on a mission to help femtech companies and women-owned companies to fast forward their businesses. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter, The Next Draft, to receive monthly women-empowering insights!

FemTech Marketing Cheat Sheet

Marketing can be tough, especially for femtech. The good thing is you don’t have to do it alone. Reach out to these people and communities to get your femtech brand out there!

Femtech Communities

Femtech Articles & Media

Femtech Podcasts

Service Providers for Femtech Founders

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