The New York City-based Female Founders Fund has released a new report revealing the needs of women experiencing menopause is a US$600 billion ($842.45 billion) currently untapped opportunity for companies.
The study shows that of the US$254 million invested in technology for women’s health in the United States over the last 10 years, just 5% 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 identify specific areas in the menopause experience that women wanted their products and services to focus on.
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,” 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 US$2,000 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 US$600 billion dollar industry.
4.Menopause is the next fertility: Only 5% of fem-tech startups are serving women in this life stage and a majority are focused on consumer products, with new incumbents building tele-health solutions. There is still a tremendous need and opportunity for innovation. 🚀
— Anu (@anuduggalnyc) October 26, 2020
The Female Founders Fund has invested in women’s health and fertility startups since 2014 and exclusively invests in female-founded companies.
So far, the firm has raised two major funds — the first gathered US$6 million and the second reached US$25 million — and counts more than 40 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.
The fund is yet to invest in a business that focuses solely on women’s post-reproductive health — though their latest study might change that.
Notably, a whopping 78% of survey respondents said menopause had disrupted their lives in some way.
Meanwhile, only 36% said they felt prepared for menopause.
And over 70% said they would benefit from a community built 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.
This article was first published by Women’s Agenda.