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Hello and welcome to the 68th edition of your go-to source for weekly updates on women’s health innovation and FemTech.

Hi Friends, 

It sounds insane to say this out loud: it’s February 2024. While 2023 was a grind for us femtech founders, 2024 is looking bright and full of opportunities.

As women in the 21st century, we are invested in our nation’s progress, and Budget 2024 offered promising announcements to empower us. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman outlined comprehensive measures to uplift women across economic, health, and educational domains.

Here’s a breakdown of key takeaways:

🌈 Health Initiatives:

  • Health Sector Allocation: The health sector receives ₹89,155 crores, witnessing a 13% increase, with a mission to eliminate sickle cell anaemia by 2047. 
  • Cervical cancer vaccination: A crucial step towards prevention, free HPV vaccination will be available for girls 9-14. 
  • Ayushman Bharat expansion: ASHAs and Anganwadi workers will now be covered under Ayushman Bharat, improving their access to healthcare.
  • Nutrition and childcare: Upgraded Anganwadi centres and faster nutrition delivery promise better early childhood care.
  • Combined maternal and child health program: Streamlining existing schemes will provide holistic care through a single program.

🌟 Economic Empowerment:

  • Lakhpati Didi Scheme: The target has been raised from 2 crore to 3 crore women, aiming to equip them with skills and support self-help groups to generate an annual income of ₹1 lakh.
  • PM MUDRA Yojana: This scheme ensures easy access to credit for women entrepreneurs.
  • Reservation in procurement: Government and public sector undertakings will be encouraged to procure goods and services from women-owned businesses, boosting their participation.

Overall, Budget 2024 offers a roadmap to empower women economically and socially. Let’s hope these initiatives translate into tangible progress and create a more inclusive future for all! 

The Interim Budget presented a clear message: women are a key driver of India’s economic progress, and their empowerment is a top priority.

This budget empowers Nari Shakti to be an even greater force in India’s growth. 

The future looks promising 💃✨

I need your help, As we are launching our Season 2 with a video podcast, should we create a separate page to spotlight women’s health with more focus? 

I’d love to hear from you 

Your friend 


What’s Trending this week in women’s health

💰Funding In India: FemTech, Wellness, and Fitness

  • DocOsage, an AI-powered health platform has successfully raised pre-seed funding. The funds will be utilised to enhance product development, refine Core-AI capabilities for health insights, and conduct early-stage testing for the telehealth and genetic studies platform.
  • Bengaluru-based insurance-tech startup Healspan has raised Rs 1.2 crore in a recently concluded pre-seed funding round led by startup community-builder and accelerator PedalStart.
  • CureBay, a healthcare start-up focused on solving primary healthcare in remote locations through an innovative hybrid model has successfully raised approx Rs 62 crore in a Series A1 funding round. 

🌎💸  Global Funding

  • Being Health, a new mental health practice has launched in New York City to bring a more “personalised” approach to mental health and has raised $5.4 M in funding. It was co-founded and led by Dr Allie Sharma, a board-certified psychiatrist.
  • Toronto-based Cross-Border Impact Ventures (CBIV) has announced the final closing of its first fund after exceeding US$90m in investor commitments. The Women’s and Children’s Health Technology Fund will focus on investments in technology companies that address the health needs of women, children and adolescents.
  • Singapore-based Zora Health has announced the launch of its integrated fertility care and financing platform, backed by $740K in funding. This investment round saw participation from notable angel investors.
  • Aster has announced its $2.4 million pre-seed round to build a platform to enable women’s health providers to deliver materially better care.


  • Midlife and perimenopause became a $17 billion market in 2023, according to marketing insights firm SkyQuest. Advertisers embraced the space as an opportunity to target women in their peak earning years as they navigate a new stage of their lives. 
  • Glenmark Pharmaceuticals and Ichnos Sciences have announced the launch of their alliance to accelerate new drug discovery in cancer treatment. This alliance combines Glenmark’s research and development proficiencies in small molecules with those of Ichnos in novel biologics to continue developing cutting-edge therapy solutions that treat haematological malignancies and solid tumours. 
  • Researchers have used an artificial intelligence (AI) model to redesign a crucial protein involved in the delivery of gene therapy, a technique that employs genes to treat, prevent or cure diseases.
  • Health Canada approves Astellas Pharma’s Xtandi to treat high-risk patients with non-metastatic castration-sensitive prostate cancer
  • Researchers from deCODE genetics, a global leader in analyzing and understanding the human genome, (a subsidiary of Amgen), and their collaborators from Iceland, Denmark, and the USA released a study in Nature Structural & Molecular Biology entitled  – Variant in the synaptonemal complex protein SYCE2 associates with pregnancy loss through effects on recombination. 
  • Pfizer and Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (Glenmark) have joined hands to launch abrocitinib, a first-of-its-kind oral advanced systemic treatment for moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis (AD), in India.
  • A new radiofrequency ablation technology could benefit millions of women suffering from fibroids. The technology enhances the destruction of tumours, such as fibroids, in a minimally invasive way, allowing women to recover and return to work faster. 
  • Women with endometriosis are being “medically gaslit” as they feel dismissed and ignored when accessing support, a new study has found. The study identified several barriers to care for women with endometriosis, including a postcode lottery around the quality of care and a lack of medical understanding from healthcare providers when women communicated their symptoms. 
  • There are shifting scales in the industry – founders are looking at launching femtech product in a highly regulated space, fertility clinics are reluctant to innovate beyond IVF and building trust when introducing new femtech products to market is the way forward.
  • Vivoo, a wellness app providing personalized nutrition and lifestyle advice based on at-home urine tests, has launched its at-home digital Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) testing product at CES 2024.

🌐 Global Companies:

  • Mums can now express their precious breast milk with ease, using a personalised expressing sequence with the Memory Plus feature on the Ardo Alyssa rechargeable breast pump. So, when the inevitable baby brain hits we have them covered.
  • Canada-based Nixit, a woman-owned company, is launching a new line of external condoms designed with vaginal health in mind.  These condoms, made from natural rubber latex, are ultra-thin, vegan, vagina-friendly, and lightly lubricated with pure silicone oil. 
  • Roche Diagnostics has recently received CE-mark regulatory approval for a novel method of diagnosing Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS).

🤝 Our Ecosystem News:

  • PeeSafe, along with RJ Shilpa led an enlightening session on menstrual hygiene awareness in partnership with SBI Foundation.
  • Humm Care published a thought on Prioritizing well-being beyond Mental Health Day and covered aspects of holistic employee wellness ideas.
  • The Momly held a social meetup called Momly Socials at Gravy Groove to share collective learning experiences throughout the journey of motherhood.
  • Naarica published a spotlight on Niyatii N Shah, a certified Sex Educator, and founder of Averti Education who is making an impact in simplifying sex education, among children.
  • Plush was featured among India’s top 100 startups by Sutra Services Pvt Ltd – 2024.

🇮🇳 Government News

  • India is working to build an authentication ecosystem to battle counterfeits in pharma & medical devices, as per the Authentication Solution Providers’ Association (ASPA).
  • The Union Ministry of Ayush has initiated civil works to set up the Central Research Institute of Yoga & Naturopathy (CRIYN) and a 100-bedded Yoga and Naturopathy Hospital in Assam, a first in North India, with an approximate investment of Rs. 100 crore.

☀️ What’s trending?

  • Potassium-enriched salt. An alternative that can be used just like regular salt and most people don’t notice any important difference in taste.
  • Why Do Women Get More Headaches Than Men? Hormones may be the most obvious culprit, but other factors can be at play.
  • Every year spent in school or university may improve life expectancy, while not attending an educational institute could be as bad as smoking or heavy drinking, according to a study published in The Lancet Public Health journal

📖 Casual Reads

See you next Friday, friends 👋

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