Israel lead the way in FemTech, but challenges remain in realizing full potential
HealthIL on Calcalist: The Challenges in reaching the full potential of FemTech
While interest has risen in tech related to women’s health, investors must move past their bias for Israel to lead the world in this sector
In 2021, in the midst of the COVID pandemic, Shelly Bloch was seeking a FemTech community, but the ecosystem didn’t really exist. “Most people didn’t even know what FemTech was,” Bloch says. She decided to create a Facebook forum called FemTech Israel for those in Israel’s tech industry interested in solutions catering to more than half of the population. Two years on, FemTech Israel has expanded to include tens of thousands of subscribers across multiple social platforms, and is a major hub for the growing Israeli FemTech sector.
On a global scale, FemTech is one of tech's hottest emerging sectors and there are few places witnessing a greater boom than in Israel, which has the fourth largest number of FemTech companies in the world, and is second only to the United States in terms of global investment in the sector. In the last five years in particular, Israel has seen a high rate of FemTech companies founded and an increase in investment.
However, there is still much more to be done and many experts note that the potential of Israel's FemTech sector has not been fully realized, particularly by domestic investors.
The term “FemTech” was coined by Ida Tin, who founded the app “Clue” in 2013, which is used to measure and track period, ovulation, and other health symptoms.
FemTech typically refers to health software and tech-enabled products that focus on women’s health and biological needs, however, Bloch notes that it actually includes much more. “It’s not correct to just define FemTech as HealthTech, since women have particular and unmet needs beyond medicine but also in finances, wellness, lifestyle, mental health and safety and other areas.”