The New York City-based Female Founders Fund have released a new report which shows the needs of women experiencing menopause is a $600 billion opportunity for companies currently untapped.
The study showed that of the $254 million invested in technology for women’s health over the last ten years, just five percent had been allocated to treatments focusing on the healthcare of women going through menopause, with the majority of funding going toward reproductive health and fertility treatments.
The study surveyed 250 women, and aimed to identity specific areas in the menopause experience women wanted their products and services to focus on.
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Female Founders Fund investor Adrianna Samaniego believes these latest figures show how little attention women in this age range are getting from their healthcare providers during a period clinically defined as the end of a woman’s menstrual cycle and diagnosed after she has gone 12 months without menstruating. Common symptoms include night sweats, loss of libido, fatigue, and difficulty concentrating.
“Women in this life stage continue to be sorely underserved,” Adrianna Samaniego told Fortune. “It’s not like the maternity experience where it’s nine months—this can last for 10 to 30 years.”
More than 1 billion women are expected to be in menopause worldwide within the next five years. If they each spend an average of $2000 a year on medical expenses relating to their menopause such as prescriptions, doctor visits, treatments and devices, the total cost would add up to a $600 billion dollar industry.
Female Founders Fund have invested in women’s health and fertility startups since 2014 and is exclusively invests in female-founded companies.
So far, the firm has raised two major funds; the first gathered $6 million; the second — $25 million; and counts more than forty companies in its portfolio including beauty basics brand Billie, hyper-personalised social app Co-Star, sexual wellness app Kama, and female-led women’s healthcare company Maven.
Adrianna Samaniego and her colleague Anu Duggal, the founder of Female Founders Fund, both observed the lack of companies that have cracked this space. They have yet to invest in a business which focuses solely on women’s post-reproductive health – though their latest study might change that.
78 percent of respondents of the survey said menopause had disrupted their lives in some way, with only 36 percent saying they felt prepared for menopause. Over 70 percent said they would benefit from a community around the menopause experience — clearly an untapped market.
At this stage, investors believe the biggest opportunities lie in products such as creams, anti-ageing supplements, telemedicine and digital platform communities.