Ah, the elusive “exit”. If you are an investor or entrepreneur yourself, you’re probably very familiar with the term. But for those who don’t, a start-up “exit” is when a business liquidates its assets or basically sells ownership of the company to investors or another company. And there are various types of exit strategies namely, initial public offerings (IPOs), acquisitions and buy-outs.
Why is this important? And how does this relate to femtech?
In investing and venture capital, having a successful exit is a prime indicator of need and expansion for a company. For femtech, it solidifies why we need femtech and more femtech innovation. For an investor or venture capitalist, a successful exit under your belt is like a 4.0 on your resume. It shows your track record of knowledge and expertise in investing and companies with successful exits.
So,what are the notable femtech exits? So glad you asked. To date, there have been 32 successful femtech exits—-four of which are valued over 1 BILLION DOLLARS. You read that right, we have our four femtech unicorns!
- Cytyc at $6.26B – women’s health diagnostics
- Gyrus Group $1.84B – gynecological surgical tools
- Conceptus at $1.1B – permanent sterilization
- Sprout Pharmaceuticals $1B – sexual wellness
The other femtech exits range from Ovion at $24 million, which focused on transcervical sterilization, to Third Wave at over $580 million and previously a HPV diagnostics company acquired by Hologic. In 2019 alone, there have been six femtech exits, which is a 64% increase from 2018. This only shows we’re on track to hit the $50 billion market potential by 2025. But if you’re like me and wondering why has there only been 32 femtech exits, the answer is we need more funding towards femtech startups and more female VCs.
According to Crunchbase, only 11% of venture capital partners are women, and only 9 out of the top 100 venture capital partners worldwide are women. With this gender diversity gap at the high investment level, it’s harder for femtech companies to secure the much-needed investment.
As it’s already tough enough having to explain problems womxn exclusively face to non-female partners, it’s even harder for them to relate without experiencing them first hand to understand the need.
That said, having proof of successful femtech exits comes in when handy with real data to show for it. It’s also notable to mention the millions of dollars that femtech companies raise every year. For example, Elvie, a breast-pump maker startup raised $42 million in Series B funding in 2019 , which marked the largest fundraise for a femtech company to date.
We at FemTech Focus are hoping to create that change and empower femtech entrepreneurs with capital, investors with insight and data to allow for more femtech innovation worldwide. To view the full list of femtech exits and more, check out the Femtech Landscape webinar hosted by Dr. Brittany Barreto.