Natural Cycles, an app that helps prevent, plan and monitor pregnancies, has raised a $30M Series B round to help establish itself as the global leader in digital contraception and reproductive health. Lead investor in the round was the EQT Ventures fund (“EQT Ventures”), with participations from existing investors Sunstone, E-ventures and Bonnier Growth Media.
The investment will aid clinical research, product development, recruitment from the world of medicine and science, and international expansion.
Launched in 2014 and headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden, Natural Cycles was co-founded by Dr. Elina Berglund and her husband, Dr. Raoul Scherwitzl. Elina, a top physicist at CERN who was part of the Higgs boson discovery, which led to the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2013. In 2016, the company raised $6M Series A funding from Bonnier Media Growth and existing investors Sunstone and E-ventures.
Over 500,000 women from over 161 countries currently use Natural Cycles. It is the world’s first app to be certified as a contraceptive in Europe.
Elina says, “Over the last three years we have expanded women’s contraceptive choices and demonstrated that there is a universal, unmet need for products like Natural Cycles, which is the first contraceptive app with proven efficacy. We have created something truly unique, and are just beginning to see the possibilities for how Natural Cycles can revolutionize the way women take full control over their bodies and reproductive health at large. This new investment will support our ambition for further clinical research into women’s preventive health care and digital contraception by combining the best from the worlds of science, medicine, pharmaceutical and tech. We are very excited to have EQT Ventures and existing investors Sunstone, E-ventures and Bonnier Growth Media on board who are well-known for their long-term thinking and consumer focus.”
Natural Cycles works by detecting a woman’s ovulation and calculating her fertile days by taking many factors, such as her temperature, period, cycle irregularities and sperm survival, into account. Women are required to take their temperature with a basal thermometer under the tongue in the morning and enter it into the app. The app tells a woman whether it is a “green” day or a “red” day – the former meaning she can have unprotected sex without the risk of a pregnancy, the latter indicating that she cannot and that her partner needs to use a condom.
The more data is entered, the more days turn “green” as the app becomes better able to accurately predict when the woman is not fertile, with the algorithm taking into account a host of factors including irregularities in a woman’s cycle. The app also learns and adjusts to women who forget to enter their daily temperature by offering more “red” days. Natural Cycles does not protect against STIs and is recommended for women over 18 years old.
“Our Cyclers write to us on a daily basis, and it is absolutely amazing to read all the feedback. Most of them tell us that they feel like they are in control and understand their body much more – since they started on Natural Cycles they are more aware of their mood, how their body changes throughout the cycle, and even their sex drive. Basically; they finally feel like themselves,” Elina tells HerSaga.
Talking about Vision, Elina says, “We want every woman to be able to find a contraception that suits her and her lifestyle. With Natural Cycles, we are expanding choice, and providing women with an alternative that is natural and effective – without the side-effects. We passionately believe that Natural Cycles helps to empower women. Our vision is to continue to boost research in this field and help establish ourselves as the global leader in digital contraception that benefits the reproductive health of women worldwide.”