Inne launches a new startup with the financing of $8.8 million.
The development and production of Series A is led by Blossom Capital, with the support of Monkfish Equity, a number of investors, including Tavet Hinricus, co-founder of TransferWise, Tom Stafford, managing partner of DST, and Rolf Schrommens, co-founder of Trivago.
The growing popularity of women's health management applications is attracting more and more women technologists and promoting new tech in this field. Today, hundreds of applications have been developed that examine menstrual cycle periods, such as Clue and Flo. Some of them simply calculate the periods of the menstrual cycle and provide information when a woman is most likely to become pregnant, while others allegedly perform the function of "digital contraception", such as Natural Cycles.
Some of these applications use aggressive advertising techniques that mislead young women. Many studies have shown that digital contraception, as a simple and convenient form of contraception, cannot be reliable and leads to the risk of unintended pregnancies among users for whom they are responsible.
Inne is studying natural contraception. This method refers to hormonal-free methods of contraception, which are very popular today. Natural contraception focuses on tracking hormones as a birth control measure. The analysis of birth rate hormones is based on the patient's saliva, which can be performed as many times as you like at home. This diagnostic device is known as "in vitro". Its founder Erini Rapti called the product a real home laboratory of the minimum size. He and his company have been developing technologies in this field since 2017.
Inne has already received a European quality certificate for its medical device but has not yet officially announced this fact. The product will be launched next year, first in Scandinavia and then in a number of other European markets. It will be a natural concept for women, recommended for use at the age of 28 to 40 years.
“It basically has three parts. That’s the hardware part of it, so it recognizes the intensity of your hormones. And then there’s a disposable saliva test. You basically collect your saliva by putting it in your mouth for 30 seconds. And then you insert it in the reader and then you go about your day. The reader is connected to your phone… We teach you how to track them, how to understand what they mean.”
Such a device can be used not only as a contraceptive but also to determine the most appropriate time to become pregnant.
“This product is not a tracker. We’re not looking to gather your data and then tell you next month what you should be feeling — at all,” she adds. It’s more designed to track your hormones and tell you look this is the most basic change that happens in your body and because of those changes you will feel certain things.”
This method of contraception is very attractive, but how reliable is it? This question remains open, as Inne has not yet provided any data on the effectiveness of its product. However, the company promised to publish soon the results of the studies that were carried out before receiving the special CE marking. "A couple more weeks and all the hardcore numbers will be out there," the company says.
It is specified that the test performed on the basis of the woman's saliva, close to the traditional pregnancy test and is based on the same indicators
"Our device is a medical device. It's CE-certified in Europe and to do that you have to do all kinds of verification and performance evaluation studies. They will be published pretty soon."
Erini Rapti describes the advantages of his method: "The beauty about hormones is they do not get influenced by lack of sleep, they do not get influenced by getting out of your bed - and this is the reason why I wanted to opt to actually measure them. "
Despite the simplicity of the test, at first glance, there are a number of conditions that users must meet in order to obtain a reliable result. For example, every test should be done at the same time. Testing should take place daily during the menstrual cycle to ensure that the data is complete. It is not recommended to eat and drink 30 minutes before taking the test.
Rapti explains: "The product is super easy to use but it is not for women who want to not think ever about contraception or their bodies. This product is for women who consciously do not want to take hormones and don't want invasive devices - either because they've been in pain or they're interested in being natural and not taking hormones."
Inne plans to expand the number of tests performed next year to evaluate the effectiveness of the product and to identify its additional features. The company will allocate additional funding for this. In the future, the company wants to get a special certificate, which will allow selling the product not only in Europe, but also in the U.S.
The launch of Serie A commented on the partner at Blossom Capital Louise Samet: “Inne has a winning combination of scientific validity plus usability that can enable women to better understand their bodies at all stages in their lives. What really impressed us is the team’s meticulous focus on design and ease-of-use together with the scientific validity and clear ambition to impact women all over the world.”