Femtech startup Essence App raises $600K to tackle menstrual health inequality in the workplace

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in Startup Stories

  • Femtech startup The Essence App, which elevates the performance of female employees by optimizing their schedule according to the hormonal cycle, oversubscribed the angel round and closed it out at $600K. 
  •  The funds will be used to enhance the Essence App, attract new customers, and research the connection between productivity and the menstrual cycle.

Companies fail to provide resources and support to menstruating employees. A UK study found that more than two-thirds of women have bad work experiences due to periods, and over 90% of women and people with cycles suffer from cycle-related pain, which deteriorates the quality of their work life and performance. But they’re not telling anyone about it due to the stigma associated with menstruation at work and in society as a whole. 

Now, the France-based startup is on a mission to empower half of the world’s workforce by helping companies create more equitable corporate environments and provide tailored support to women and people with menstrual cycles.

The Essence App leverages science and AI to boost the performance and well-being of women in the workforce by up to 33% by optimizing schedules, fitness routines, and diets according to each phase of the hormonal cycle. The platform aims to achieve an ARR of $1M within the next 18 months.

By reshaping corporate culture and offering personalized expert recommendations, Essence aims to help companies attract and retain diverse talent while fostering inclusive workplaces. 

Femtech is a highly undervalued and impact-oriented market and half of the world’s population are potential users. Menstrual health is a missing puzzle piece in improving women’s well-being. Cycle-related symptoms are still a real struggle for hundreds of millions. The Essence App offers a valuable digital tool for companies, helping businesses adjust their work environments and provide tailored support to those who need it,” says Elina Vale, co-founder & CEO of the Essence App, and former Global Director of Women in Tech.

The Essence App’s approach has garnered support from investors, especially female investors, who are passionate about inclusive healthcare solutions and joining efforts to serve working women.

Elina Vale, CEO of Essence App

Rosana Rabines, impact investor and Managing Partner of GWP Impact, a global family office, says “We are thrilled to be working with a team who brings world-class expertise, a responsible, data-driven approach, and relentless energy to address menstrual well-being.”

Marina Davidova, managing partner at Davidovs VC believes that helping women thrive in the workplace is not only a worthy mission but also a great way to increase overall productivity in companies. “Redistributing workload around the cycle helps women align work with their well-being and truly be the better versions of themselves both at work and in life.”

According to Caroline Winnett, executive director at Berkeley SkyDeck, it’s about time someone developed a technology to optimize women’s work productivity based on their cycles. SkyDeck chose Essence for our program because we knew that they were the startup that would relentlessly devote themselves to building this much needed platform.

Eugenia Dunaeva, angel investor and former partnerships lead at Meta and Expedia Group, sees Essence as a transformative force.

“With a subscription-based B2B approach, Essence is poised to achieve an impressive ARR both in the US and EMEA, spearheading a transformative change in this space.” Dunaeva said.

Essence advisor and angel investor Ksenia Kapoor, who has more than 10 years of experience in the US employee benefits market, emphasizes the importance of creating an equitable work environment.

Today we often talk about equality for women in the workplace, but that’s not enough. The Essence App is an actionable step towards creating a support system to help women get closer to where they want to be in terms of well-being,” she added.

Konstantin Siniushin, angel investor and Managing Partner of Untitled Ventures, notes the ripe opportunity to make a positive impact. “I am happy to invest in the Essence App because, for me, it is not only an opportunity to enter a market that is still at the beginning of its wave, but also to incentivize a strong team to make this world better by removing the stigma of menstruation in the business environment,” he noted.

Similar to the prioritization of mental health, Essence envisions a parallel shift, already evident in countries like Spain and the UK, recognizing menstrual health as a crucial aspect of overall well-being, the company added in a statement.

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