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December 7, 2021

What makes Switzerland an attractive FemTech Hub?

FemTech Analytics researches FemTech Industry in Switzerland Q4 2021” that researched the FemTech industry in Switzerland with the aim of showcasing recent developments, current state, and short-term projections of the emerging local market, but it doesn’t end there.

FemTech (Female Technology) is technology empowering women’s and female health and well-being. This technology is often innovative, it can be embodied in a broad spectrum of products and services, such as diagnostics, apps & software, medical devices, telehealth, wearables, hardware, therapeutic drugs, vitamins & supplements, digital platforms, consumer products, etc.

Assembling and analyzing information about 85 organizations related to the Swiss FemTech market, including 33 companies, 15 nonprofits, and 37 investors considered by sectors,  the research also shed light on key features, trends, industry innovations, technologies, market segmentation, and perspective.

FemTech Landscape in Switzerland

Switzerland has 26 cantons that can be grouped into five regions. The largest region by FemTech companies is Northern Switzerland, with more than 55% of organizations located there.

Furthermore, Switzerland’s FemTech Industry consists of 9 subsectors, with Reproductive Health and Contraception and Pregnancy and Nursing accounting for approximately 55% and 48% of FemTech companies offering Medical Devices and Diagnostics products.

Swiss FemTech Products and the Role of AI

In terms of distribution, the most prevalent product types in the Swiss FemTech market are Devices and Diagnostics for women's health. About 80% of them are dedicated to Reproductive Health and Contraception and Pregnancy and Nursing; the rest are related to Sexual and Mental Health.

Digital Health products are dominated by AI-enabled apps and platforms (mainly offered by four different companies) that address mental health, nutrition, cardiovascular diseases, and breast cancer patients.

Having a strong and growing biopharmaceutical sector in general, Switzerland also attends to the FemTech market developing innovative Drugs for Women. The majority of them are associated with reproductive medicine and maternal health, solving fertility and infertility problems, pre-term labor, vaginitis, long-term management of uterine fibroids, and include supplements for immune systems and dietary management.

The last category of FemTech products is Consumer Goods, a comparatively smaller category in the global market structure. It includes innovative, natural and sustainable hygienic pads, tampons, menstrual cups, period-proof underwear, pregnancy tests, innovative postsurgical and postpartum underwear, etc.

Funding Overview and Investment Opportunities

Switzerland provides a promising landscape for investment into the FemTech sector. The absolute majority of funding into the Swiss FemTech companies came in the form of grants. Nevertheless, the other forms of investment are also present, with some funding in IPO/Post-IPO, Seed/Pre-Seed, and Venture rounds of investment. Most Swiss FemTech Industry investors are based in Zurich, Basel, Bern, Geneva, Vaud, Fribourg, Zug, Schwyz, and St. Gallen.

Nevertheless, the number of companies in the Swiss market is expected to grow because the Swiss FemTech market can be considered attractive to both investors and newer companies seeking entrance into the FemTech Industry. These newer companies allow for significant potential returns with moderate risks that are not beyond mitigation.

It is worth mentioning that ObsEva, Anecova, Aspivix, Annaida Technologies, and Inanna Fertility have all received significant funding from investors/NGOs in recent years with ObsEva receiving the highest funding received by Swiss FemTech startups in recent years, a sum of $75 million in Post-IPO Debt capital from Oxford Finance.

Longevity in the Swiss FemTech Industry

There has been a recent increase in the number of FemTech companies focused on a core Longevity component. Thus far, these companies tend to concentrate mainly on fertility issues. However, given the present state of regenerative medicine, these FemTech establishments now see Longevity in fertility as the achievable next great step for FemTech.

Whereas other aspects of age-related dysfunction in female-specific bodily processes depend on a complex system of tissues and organs (e.g., menopause-related hormonal imbalances), female age-related infertility, for the most part, comes down to a decline in the function of specific cells, namely, ovarian cells. Thus, from a scientific standpoint, therapies aiming to reverse age-related infertility in women can focus on a small subset of cells rather than larger, more complex, and interconnected entire bodily tissues, organs, and systems.

Current State, Challenges, and the Future of the FemTech Industry in Switzerland

Switzerland is a Longevity-progressive country and is one of the leaders in the longevity industry (according to the Life Expectancy Index 2020, it ranks first in Europe in terms of life expectancy (more than 83.8 years). The country also has a rapid rise of start-ups dedicated to women’s health, more than 30 established FemTech companies, and several prominent investment companies. Nonetheless, like most Longevity-minded countries, there are things to learn from Switzerland and lingering issues affecting the further expansion of the FemTech Industry.

The Current Challenges

Even with so many progressive steps taken by the country, raising capital is still the most challenging part for FemTech start-ups in Switzerland. The challenge is primarily due to the lack of women representation at the investing table as decision-makers and venture funds being run by male investors who have difficulty understanding the value proposition.

The Swiss FemTech Industry is also "bugged" by a lack of women FemTech app developers. FemTech apps are substantially developed and coded by men who lack proper women's health knowledge. A lack of sufficient expertise in developing and coding apps for women results from VCs' aversion to financing FemTech products.  

Future of FemTech Industry

Even with the existence of all these shortcomings, FemTech is still developing rapidly in Switzerland. The rapid growth and emergence of an innovation hub for FemTech start-ups, Tech4Eva, Switzerland's first FemTech industry acceleration program, makes the industry an attractive prospect for investors and FemTech companies. In addition, the country has a high overall involvement in the research and development fields, including the FemTech sector, which boasts several R&D hubs. Additionally, both private and governmental entities are involved in funding and growing start-ups in the industry. Therefore, we anticipate an increase in the number of FemTech companies, as well as the industry's overall growth in the country.

Future of FemTech Longevity in Switzerland

The gap between female Healthspan and women's rising lifespans is increasing, creating an unmet need for products and services aiming to maximize healthy female lifespan that FemTech Longevity addresses. As a result, companies that once focused mainly on fertility issues are starting to turn their attention to a component of Longevity. The present state of regenerative medicine is also aiding this trend, and we expect more FemTech companies to follow suit.

Written by:

Kate Batz, Director of FemTech Analytics
Managing Partner at Deep Knowledge Group

Maria Shmelova, Head of FemTech Analytics

About FemTech Analytics

FemTech Analytics (FTA) is a strategic analytical agency focused on the emerging FemTech sector, providing insights into key sub-sectors such as Reproductive Health & Contraception, General Healthcare, Longevity, Mental Health, Menstrual Health, Pregnancy & Nursing, Sexual Health, Pelvic & Uterine Healthcare, Menopause Care, and Women's Wellness. FTA offers a range of services including research and in-depth analysis on the FemTech industry, profiling of companies and government agencies based on their innovation potential and business activity, and consulting and analytical services to advance the overall FemTech sector.

FemTech Analytics is part of Deep Knowledge Group, a consortium of commercial and nonprofit organizations active on many fronts in the realm of DeepTech and Frontier Technologies (AI, Longevity, FinTech, GovTech, InvestTech), ranging from scientific research to investment, entrepreneurship, analytics, media, philanthropy, and more.

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