Menopause is an inevitable part of life for women and most other people with vulvas. As with all of the underserved topics we’ve covered, this is no different in that it’s historically been taboo, concealed, and brushed under the rug.
Today we discuss how menopause is a growing destination for the innovation of products and services to meet the needs of hundreds of millions of women. This is a massively untapped market, ripe for investment.
The low down… down low
Menopause is part of a 10 to 20-year health journey that begins with perimenopause and involves constantly changing symptoms that require versatile management including:
- body fatigue,
- night sweats,
- hot flashes / sweating,
- painful intercourse,
- disruptions to sleep cycle such as early awakening or insomnia,
- and the list goes on.
Reading through these symptoms, it’s not hard to see why a combination of these symptoms can lead to anxiety and even depression.
That’s a lot of zeros $$$
Since we’re VCs, we’d be remiss to mention the menopause market size is $600 BILLION. Take that, night sweats!
Despite this, 75% of women who seek treatment don’t receive it. For those who do, a lack of specialists and insufficient patient-focused education have led to many existing recommendations falling short.
One survey found that 32% of women say their doctor is not even comfortable talking about menopause!
Women in menopausal age have the highest spending power of all demographics, and a massive 80% of the healthcare dollars are controlled by women.
The market size, the statistics & data, and the consumer demand all lead to one conclusion: the menopause market is a goldmine opportunity not to be missed.
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT), a form of hormone therapy used to treat symptoms associated with menopause, started in the 1960s. In 1992, Premarin (an estrogen product used to treat hot flashes, night sweats, and a host of other menopausal symptoms) became the best-selling drug in the country, and it maintained its popularity through the end of the century. In the early 2000’s, a controversial study suggesting negative side effects of HRT caused a dip in its popularity. Since then, many studies showing the safety of HRT have allowed Premarin and other HRT treatments to regain popularity among people experiencing menopause.
Until recently, women relied on their OBGYN for all menopause solutions, but the landscape has started to change, with startups introducing telemedicine to the mix as well as education and custom products.
The Menopause Renaissance
We’re excited by the variety and recent volume of menopause-focused companies paving the way in this space.
In April, Evernow, a telehealth company dedicated to using science to transform care for women in perimenopause and menopause, announced $28.5M in Series A funding led by global venture capital firm NEA with participation from notable angel investors Gwyneth Paltrow, Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz, and others. Similar telehealth and digital Rx programs for symptom relief include Elektra Health and Lisa Health.
Our portfolio company, Gennev, is the number one integrated menopause care platform, and a trailblazer in the space. It provides products, telehealth, and resources to menopausal women. Gennev launched its products in CVS, expanded coverage to all 50 states, and demonstrated health outcomes that 94% of patients have reported improvement in menopause symptom relief! It was recently highlighted in Oprah Daily, check it out here.
Caria supports women through perimenopause, menopause, and beyond through symptom tracking, analytics and a supportive community; while Alloy offers supplements, patches, and cream for the relief of menopause symptoms.
Hardware companies targeting menopausal women include Joylux (devices and products to improve vaginal wellness); Embr Labs (bracelet to control hot flashes) and Tabu (sexual wellness kit made specifically for menopausal women).
Time to invest
These startups are serving a massive market that has long been overlooked and underserved. It is a fact, not a prediction, that the menopause space lends a hand to incredible investment opportunities and we are excited to watch these startups grow into billion dollar companies.
This piece originally appeared on Amboy Ventures, and was published here with permission.