“When I dreamed up the idea of Clue, I felt that there had been very little innovation in family planning since the pill came out. I was wondering how it could be that we have sent people to space and some have even walked on the moon, whereas many women still didn’t know on which days they might become pregnant. I personally needed just such a tool to manage that part of my life, and I felt that other women would find an app like Clue both useful and empowering.”
“This, combined with the fact that I have always been curious about women’s health and am a Quantified Self person (someone who incorporates technology and data analysis into their daily life) were the key drivers to launch Clue – an app that could clue people in with personalized health data, to give them an understanding of the unique patterns in their bodies and their cycle,” says Ida Tin, Co-Founder and CEO of Clue.
Based in Berlin now, Tin was born and raised in Copenhagen, Denmark.
Clue is a female health app that helps you understand your menstrual cycle so you can discover how to live a full and healthy life. With Clue, one can know when their period is coming, when they are more or less likely to get pregnant, to track birth control, moods, symptoms, pains and more. Clue partners with leading universities, including Stanford, Columbia, Oxford, and the University of Washington, to contribute to new advances in female health research and provide our users with the most reliable and up-to-date information.
When asked about how it’s different from other period tracking apps, Ida says, “Clue is about more than simply knowing when your period is coming. It helps you track and discover the patterns in your cycle that impact your daily life, so you can gain a better understanding of your overall health. For example, users can better understand how their mood and energy levels change during the cycle. Additionally, all the content in Clue is backed up by the latest scientific research – so you know you are getting the most trustworthy, up-to-date and accurate information about your health.”
On Accuracy in predicting the cycles
Our algorithm predicts your cycles based on your own data, not on a set number or global averages. So Clue is very accurate, and becomes even more accurate the more you use it.
In fact, Clue has been named the most accurate free menstrual health app, according to a study published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology, a publication of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
“Actually, the biggest challenge since Clue’s launch directly relates to the lack of resources women have when it comes to their health – whether due to a lack of scientific research or due to societal taboos. This is still a very new space with a ton of potential because every woman in the world faces the realities that come with menstruation, fertility, and overall health.”
We are still in the process of overcoming this challenge, whether by partnering with universities, encouraging our users to speak about their experiences and break down taboos. This is an ongoing process and at Clue, we are determined to eradicate this challenge entirely.”
On raising $20 million in Series B funding
“The biggest challenge, when it came to raising the funds for Clue, was demonstrating the value of a women’s health app, in what is a vastly male-dominated tech scene. However, at Clue we fundamentally believe that fertility is something that affects everyone, whether you experience a period or not, as you are guaranteed to be close to someone who does.”
“I think that whilst it has previously been challenging for women-led startups to raise funds, now, women are definitely making a name for themselves within the industry, with Femtech – the category of products being developed to support female health – being one of the fastest growing sectors,” says Ida.
Talking about Clue users, Ida says
“We receive feedback from our users on a daily basis, with different stories, telling us how Clue has helped them in one way or another. Some messages stand out more than others and one of these has to be from our user Susanne, from Quebec, Canada. She downloaded Clue as she noticed that her body was going through changes, such as irregular periods, heavy bleeding and weight gain. She assumed that the symptoms were just part of growing older, but decided to track them nonetheless. Because of the overview provided by Clue, she realised that her periods were getting longer and heavier, which prompted her to make an appointment with her doctor. Because she had all of the data there, ready to show during her appointment, her concerns were taken seriously and she was sent for an ultrasound and then an MRI, which is when a Malignant Mixed Mullerian Tumour was detected. Because the tumour was in the early stages, the doctors were able to remove it and our user is now cancer-free!”
Growth and the way forward
The evolution of the app has been incredible. In less than a year we have seen the amount of active users increase from 1 million to 5 million worldwide, as well as establishing partnerships with Stanford University and Oxford University, enabling us to carry out more in-depth research into menstrual cycle health.
Our mission is to help people all around the world benefit from insights into female health and, with more than 5 million users entering data every month, we are one step closer to achieving this.
It would be safe to predict that tracking apps and gadgets will become increasingly intuitive in the future, and will eventually monitor everything from heart rate and blood pressure to stress levels to amount of and quality of movement, ultimately capturing data that will allow us to better understand both our emotional and physical wellbeing. This amount of data can only be a good thing, as it will offer doctors instant access to a far more detailed and accurate medical history.
Our ultimate goal is to completely move female health away from its status as ‘niche’ and get to a stage where society can openly discuss menstrual health without hesitation. You wouldn’t think twice to mention that you have a headache or sore throat, for example, and when people feel as comfortable talking about cramps or other period related symptoms, only then have we managed to fully break down the stigma surrounding them.