Female-founded Jude, the London-based healthtech startup on a mission to break the taboo surrounding female health, has just raised about €2.4 million – the biggest pre-seed round by a solo female founder in the UK!
This funding announced on International Women’s Day represents a change of narrative around female health and shows a positive step in the right direction towards greater funding for female founders.
Founder, Peony Li, has set out to tackle a problem that impacts 1 in 3 women or 14 million people in the UK but was initially told by potential investors the issue wasn’t “sexy enough” to invest in. Female health has for too long been neglected.
Peony Li, Founder, Jude said: “Over 14 million of us experience problems with our bladders, so why do we continue to suffer in silence? I want to break the stigma around bladder care and create a community and brand that makes people feel heard, seen and supported. I know I’ll have succeeded when we all start having conversations about incontinence in the same way we talk about periods and menopause.”
Targeting an “invisible demographic” of women aged between 40-60, Jude joins other challenger brands on a mission to break down taboos in rapidly growing women’s health and ‘elderly’ care markets. Its bladder-care essentials – fully biodegradable, 100% plant-based liners, pads and clinically tested supplements have been co-created with its community of 300 women.
The pre-seed round, led by June Angelides MBE at Samos VC (Ocado, Charlotte Tilbury, Lick, Bloom & Wild, Skin + Me), has a diverse cap table featuring 12 female angel investors and also includes Access VC, Reckitt’s innovation fund; Stephen Bourke, Founder of Echo Pharmacy, now Lloyds Direct; and David Rowan, Founder of VOYAGERS and Founding Editor-in-Chief of WIRED UK.
Female investors contributing to the round include Montse Suarez, Founding Partner of Vaultier 7 and Iris Ventures; Rupa Popat, Entrepreneur and angel investor in under-represented founders; Maya Moufarek, ex-CMO of Pharmacy2U; Deepali Nangia, Co-founder of Alma Angels; Eva Tarasova, Investment Director at Wharton Asset Management; Renee Parker, ex-Head of Luxury Beauty at Amazon; Triin Linamagi, Co-founder at Sie Ventures; Lian Michelson, Investment director at Vala Capital; Viktoria Tchoudakov, VP Growth Marketing at ZOE; and Samira Ann Qassim, Co-founder at Pink Salt Ventures.