Femtech startup Clementine has secured around €1.1 million and with it, a place in Fortunis Capital’s Top 20 UK Impact Investment Fund.
The new funding will accelerate the growth of Clementine, which was named one of the seven apps every woman should own by The Guardian. Founded by Kim Palmer in 2017, it provides world-leading virtual professional hypnotherapy sessions as well as a suite of wellness products to empower women to feel more confident, capable and on top of their game.
Founder Kim Palmer hit on the idea of a hypnotherapy app to help women feel calmer and better equipped to cope with everyday life after suffering a series of panic attacks while juggling a high-profile job, pregnancy and social pressures. She discovered the transformative effects of hypnotherapy after turning to it as a last resort when nothing else worked. Today, the startup has grown to have a user base of 75,000 people, with 90% identifying as women.
Palmer commented on the funding: “We are thrilled by this investment by a forward-thinking VC in a company founded by women for women. The VC landscape is traditionally challenging for women, so we are really bucking the trend here. Treasury reports show for every £1 of VC investment, all-female founder teams get less than 1p, all-male founder teams get 89p and mixed-gender teams get 10p. With a strong female leadership team, Fortunis instinctively understood that we were delivering a solution to a global problem worth solving.”
The Fortunis funding will drive a major expansion programme offering additional services – including self-help journals, socially-distanced events with transformative results, a wellness cosmetic and body care collaboration with a leading cosmetologist and an audio series hosted by leading broadcasters.
Palmer added: “Covid-19 has had a disproportionate effect on the mental wellness of women. Evidence shows that during this crisis, women suffer more from stress, anxiety and lack of sleep than men.” Research by KFF shows 57% of mothers of children under 18 say their mental health has worsened during Covid-19 compared to 37% of men.
Fortunis Capital investment director Emma MacRae said: “We do not look at anyone’s gender when we make investment decisions, we look at innovation. As an impact investor, our mission is to support companies that can make a positive difference to society. We see Clementine offering a solution to a problem worth solving; a solution that will change the lives of women for the better. However, we do recognise that there can be unconscious gender bias in the industry, especially around the pitch process which can be intimidating. Research shows that many investors prefer pitches presented by male entrepreneurs compared with pitches made by female entrepreneurs, even when the content of the pitch is the same. And it is a fact that in a competitive environment, men are more likely to talk up their achievements while women have a more measured pitching style.
Clementine joins the latest additions to Fortunis Capital’s Top 20 Impact Investment Fund. Recent investees include Karma, who aim to eradicate payday loans with interest free advances; Sportside, the connect and play sports app and Stemson, the biotech using stem cell research to find a solution to hair loss.