The femtech app, Jennis, founded by Olympic and World Heptathlon Champion Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill, has raised €1.17 million in pre-seed funding to improve hormonal health for all women and tackle the gender data gap in women’s health (only 6% of sport and exercise studies are done using exclusively female participants). The funding round was led by Maki.vc, supported by existing investors Venrex and several angel investors.
Founded in 2020, Jennis aims to become the go-to-app for CycleMapping for all women globally. Jennis is a game-changing femtech app uses science-backed expertise to help everyday women map their personal hormonal cycles to different styles of fitness, helping them achieve maximum physical and psychological benefits. Fitness recommendations are varied across the four phases of a woman’s menstrual cycle, with results including more efficient training and lean muscle gains, reduced PMS, more energy, and increased body literacy.
This latest investment will help Jennis to work towards closing the gender data gap in women’s health through scientific research.
Working with Physiologist Dr Emma Ross, Jennis is conducting a 5-month study on a group of women (non-elite, everyday athletes) to study the impact of CycleMapping and hormonal balance. As part of the research, the team will use ground-breaking saliva testing to understand each woman’s unique menstrual cycle and hormonal profile.
Dr Emma Ross commented: “Only 6% of sport and exercise science research is done exclusively on women, so there is a huge gender data gap when it comes to knowing about women’s bodies and how to get the most out of them. This study directly closes that gap and provides game-changing evidence on real women’s hormones that will be immediately usable by women pursuing wellbeing or fitness goals.”
A significant part of the fresh capital will go into further strengthen the tech team at Jennis. New senior hires will be brought in to build out the Jennis CycleMapping programme, integrate with relevant apps and wearables and enhance personalisation features and tracking. They will also be building new elements which extend beyond training, such as sleep, nutrition, and stress reduction – key factors that play an important role in hormonal health and overall wellbeing.
Pauliina Martikainen, Investment Director at Maki.vc has joined the Jennis board and brings her company’s wealth of expertise to the table. She stated: “At Maki.vc we aim to partner with early founders who are seeking to explore scientific advances and customer understanding – and Jennis is doing just that. It is refreshing to see a former athlete like Jessica bringing her passion for understanding women and her own experiences and network to life through tech – and we’re excited by the way the product’s evolution is being driven by a marriage of customer insights and pioneering scientific studies.”
Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill, founder of Jennis explained: “I set up Jennis to provide women with trusted information and expertise, relating to their bodies and fitness, which I was lucky to have access to as a professional athlete. It’s fantastic to have the commitment of Maki.vc, Venrex and our angels at this stage of our business. We have made great strides in building a platform for women’s hormonal health and fitness over the past year. This investment will enable us to recruit more engineers, which in turn means we can help more women understand their bodies and hormones in a way we have never been taught to before. Having very experienced VC funds and angels onboard is really important for helping us achieve that mission.”