These 8 startups are focusing on women’s health and wellness in India
Women wear many hats -- a mother, daughter, caregiver, wife, and other. Being the primary caretaker of families, they are often worried about the well-being of their children and families, but they tend to ignore their own health. Most women don’t even understand the importance of regular health checkups or visiting a medical practitioner for advice.
Some of the common health problems faced by women include PCOD, sexual health problems, menstrual health, maternal health issues, and others.
However, in the last few years, we are seeing some positive changes on this front, with several women now taking charge of their health.
The women’s wellness and healthcare market has also been growing rapidly. According to MarketsandMarkets, the global women’s healthcare market is expected to reach $17.8 billion by 2024 from $9.6 billion at present, witnessing a CAGR of 13.2 percent.
Various startups have also come up with innovative ideas and solutions to cater to the needs of women’s health and wellness.
Here is the list of startups making healthcare accessible to women across various categories.
Proactive For Her
Founded by Achitha Jacob in 2020,is a women-focused healthcare startup that offers teleconsultation as well as offline services via its clinic for problems related to skin and haircare, PCOS, menstrual health, sexual health, and others.
The startup has an in-house team of therapists, nutritionists, and doctors. It claims to have engaged with over 5,000 women so far and expects to service over a lakh by 2023. It has three key products -- diagnostics, teleconsultations, and long-term programs.
“The stigma attached to women’s menstrual, sexual, and reproductive health issues coupled with a lack of access to non-judgemental support has long prevented many women from addressing their healthcare needs,” said Achitha in a press statement.
“We believe all women should have access to the best medical experts who have a patient-centric, liberal, and empathetic approach to women’s health issues,” she added.
In February this year, the startup raised $5.5 million in series A round from Vertex Ventures and existing investor Nexus Venture Partners to expand its digital product offering, grow its online customer base, and launch an offline flagship clinic in Bengaluru.
Founded in 2019 by Kirit Acharjee, Satyajit Chakraborty, and Sourav Chakraborty, Bengaluru-based femtech D2C startupis on a mission to provide affordable solutions for a healthy and sustainable human life.
Its flagship product, ‘GoPadFree’, is India’s first standalone reusable period panty, which aims to bring comfort to women and create a more plastic-free society. While using these panties, there is no need to wear additional menstrual products like tampons, cups, or sanitary pads.
In March 2022, the startup raised 2.17 crore in a seed funding round led by Singapore-based BeyondSeed and others to create awareness about the benefits of standalone, reusable, and sustainable period panties over other sanitary products.
The startup claims its monthly revenue and customer base have grown five-fold in the last 12 months. According to a press announcement, the startup is planning expansion in Gulf countries such as Oman and Saudi Arabia.
Founded in 2020 by Vaishnavi Raju, Hyderabad-based women’s health startupprioritises women’s health by focusing on general, pregnancy, and sexual health.
It provides women's wellness products based on clean nutrition, health checks, and follow-up care all in one stop.
The startup aims to make women’s healthcare more approachable and accessible through a friendly conversation.
“There are many things that happen to a woman’s body - from menstruation and pregnancy, to menopause. But there was little innovation in the femtech space. There is so much more to do, but little was being done,” said Vaishnavi.
The startup runs on the content community model and has two wings -- Hera Now (the ecommerce platform) that sells products and services in women's health and wellness, and Herapedia, a content platform that focuses on women related conversations.
In September 2021, the startup raised $1 million in a seed round from angel investors.
That Sassy Thing
Founded in 2020 by Sachee Malhotra, femtech startupis a women focused sexual and menstrual wellness brand that provides all natural, dermatologically tested, safe products and contains vagina friendly ingredients.
Its products include a hemp-based menstrual cramp care roller, pubic hair oil, underwear detergent, and an intimate wash that also functions as a body wash.
The all-natural feminine hygiene and sexual wellness startup aims to empower women not just in boardroom but also in the bedroom.
“Women have been reduced to a sum of their parts. We’ve been told to not only be insecure about our hair, face, weight, and height, but also the way our breasts, vulvas, and bottoms should look," Sachee told YourStory.
“Hygiene is not just about sexual health; it’s also about personal health, and that’s a core focus for me,” she added.
Evelyn Immanuel founded, a Bengaluru-based lifestyle management platform for chronic conditions, in 2019. Ava aims to be a women’s wellness buddy by promoting a disciplined and holistic approach to ensure a better quality of life and avoid future complications.
It provides programmes and personalised plans to help women deal with chronic health conditions such as PCOS, insulin resistance, thyroid, etc.
“It was very organic for me to think of innovation in healthcare. A personal struggle with hormonal disorders led me to look at the women's health and wellness space very closely. Unfortunately, solutions and products for women’s health seem to be only period and pregnancy trackers," Evelyn said.
In 2020, the startup raised undisclosed institutional cheques through 100x.vc. It aims to innovate and create a shift in women's healthcare by empowering them to take ownership of their wellbeing.
Founded in 2016 by Gaurav Aggarwal and Shubham Maheshwari, Benguluru-based pregnancy and parenting communityhelps Indian women across key life stages, starting from preconception to early motherhood. The startup aims to empower women by providing them with access to relevant information, showcasing their skills, and creating content.
Healofy helps mothers dive into the power of conversational commerce, learn from peers by exchanging experiences and product reviews while shopping on the platform with like-minded people based on similar language, life-stage, location and much more.
The app has 10 million plus downloads on the Google Play Store. It claims to have created a safe community for women to discuss their transition to early motherhood and pregnancy related health concerns.
“Across the top 20 Indian cities, one in four women in early stages of motherhood accesses the Healofy app on a monthly basis. This is testimony to the quality of content and the strength of the community on our platform. Additionally, we identified a significant trust deficit across our consumer base when it came to purchasing high quality products within this segment." Gaurav said.
Founded in 2020 by Rajpreet Kaur, Mumbai-based femtech startupprovides holistic and personalised solutions to cater to women’s happiness for the challenges they face across their career, relationships, and health.
The startup connects women with experts and service providers from a variety of fields, enabling them to seek and give support to one another, using scalable self-service online tools, and leverage proprietary action oriented to carve their path.
It allows users to measure their current happiness level with the help of its proprietary assessment tool, the Happiness Evaluation Report (HER).
In March 2021, the startup raised an undisclosed amount in a seed funding round from Indian Angel Investor Naved Khan to enhance technology and build its services to make the platform more scalable.
“Say Cheese is a first-of-its-kind platform that democratises coaching, therapy, counseling, fitness, etc., from top-class experts. Over 4,500 women have participated in our Happiness Assessment (HER – Happiness Evaluation Report) and highly appreciated the engaging design of the assessment as well as the deep insights they received to help identify focus areas for them,” said Rajpreet in an earlier conversation.
Founded in 2019 by Rishi Malhotra and Akhil Gupta, Bengaluru-based women’s healthcare startupis a platform that aims to understand, share, and learn about women’s health issues in their native languages.
It connects women to reliable healthcare providers for specialities such as maternity, cosmetic interventions, infertility, and others.
The startup has partnered with healthcare institutions like Milann, Apollo Cradle, Motherhood, Morpheus, and other maternity homes.
In March 2020, the startup raised undisclosed seed funding from KYT Ventures, AngelList, First Cheque, and others to develop its products and technology.
Edited by Megha Reddy