Fertility tracking has seen a surge of start-up activity recently. Femtech startup Girl Technologies is adding to this abundant blend with the complete U.S. launch of a dual-purpose device, called kegg, that’s created to measure hormonal modifications in a female’s cervical fluid to help her determine the chance of conception on an offered day.

The egg-shaped gizmo, which features a gold-plated steel cap and band ringing its tip, in addition to a silicone tail to house its Bluetooth radio (so it can chat to the buddy app), functions as a connected pelvic floor fitness instructor (the “k” in kegg is for “Kegels”)– taking a leaf out of U.K. femtech leader Elvie’s playbook. Though the two-in-one function is a new twist.

Kegg depends on an innovation called impedance to sense electrolyte levels in a woman’s cervical fluid in order to detect the hormonal switch from estrogen to progesterone dominance that accompanies ovulation– via an everyday test that’s touted as taking just two minutes. (If you’re likewise utilizing it for the optional Kegal exercises that would take a bit longer.)

“A minute electrical impulse at a specific frequency is produced from the gold-plated electrodes on the kegg and gotten by the other (this procedure is then reversed). By sensing the changing patterns in the impedance, we’re able to detect the hormone modification and make a prediction to the user,” describes CEO and founder Kristina Cahojova. “Considering that every lady’s fluids are slightly different, kegg requirements to tape-record a minimum of one fertile window to offer personalized forecasts.”

“We have many patents on the underlying style of kegg and key aspects of how it runs,” she adds.

Kegg was revealed on the TechCrunch Disrupt SF stage, back in 2018, as part of our startup battleground competitors (though it didn’t go on to win). Fast-forward 2 years and it’s now officially introducing out of beta to offer the FDA-registered gizmo to the U.S. market– priced at $275.

It’s revealing a $1.5 million seed round too, with financiers including Crescent Ridge Partners, SOSV, Texas Halo Fund, Fermata Fund and MegaForce, as well as some unnamed angel investors.

Commenting in a declaration, Samina Hydery, kegg advisor and women’s health financier, said: “Investor interest in femtech and fertility has accelerated over the last few years. While I’ve seen an increase of ovulation forecast packages, at-home blood tests, menstrual tracking apps, and temperature monitors in the consumer market, kegg’s value proposition ended up being clear once I talked with women about their experiences trying to conceive and medical scientists in the field. It’s tough not to get thrilled by the various development vectors that can expand kegg’s market in the future– from being utilized as a tool for natural family planning to assisting monitor postpartum/perimenopausal health.”

“We pride ourselves in having almost half of our financiers women,” notes Cahojova– whose motivation for building kegg was individual, having experienced irregular menstrual cycles herself.

“I didn’t wish to be treated with hormonal agents. All they wanted to understand about was my patterns of cervical fluid when I talked to fertility trainers or a specialized fertility physician. Why? Having a positive LH [the fertile window is defined only by the presence of fertile cervical fluid luteinizing hormonal agent] test is great however it will not help you get details to repair your cycles. That’s why numerous fertility doctors have an interest in cervical fluid which is why a lot of women are told to track it with their fingers,” she describes.

“How in the world are you supposed to be able to track objectively something so important, yet private, without the aid of innovation? I was mad and frustrated that every business that I talked with didn’t have an option and didn’t want to make this so-needed product due to the fact that it ‘would have to go into the vagina’. I set out to make a product that would help me and ladies like me.”

So far kegg has actually been striking a chord with U.S. women of reproductive age who are pursuing a baby, according to Cahojova– who states her start-up has built a 2,000-strong neighborhood of fertility-tracking women over kegg’s beta period.

“Our typical user is a woman in her reproductive age,” she says. “Our users are in long-term relationships or wed and they likely have been actively attempting to conceive for more than 3 months. Half are attempting to develop their first child, while the remaining are currently moms.

“Our consumers have experience with BBT (body basal temperature level charting) or LH tests (ovulation tests) and they are overall interested in holistic fertility and wellness, not in medication. They also prefer the convenience of kegg over other approaches that either need to be used throughout the night or used more regularly.”

Image credit: Girl Technologies “Each lady is distinct and so are her cycles, “she adds.”Unlike ovulation trackers, kegg helps women understand their fertile window and cyclical fertility and follow their own patterns. Generally women take up to 6 months to find out how to read cervical fluid patterns. Our customers report that kegg gives them confidence and they feel empowered. Due to the fact that kegg offered them trends beyond ovulation, lots of keggsters developed with kegg after years of attempting. Absolutely nothing makes me more happy than an e-mail from a customer whose life changed thanks to my work and kegg.” (On that it says “several” females have actually reported successful pregnancies using kegg since the beta launch in 2018.)

The start-up likewise has its eye on worldwide growth, consisting of to Asia (with the assistance of its Japanese market-focused financier Fermata)– with a plan to introduce kegg in Singapore in late October, and in Japan and Canada next year.

While the kegg has a core focus on fertility tracking (and a secondary feature as a linked pelvic flooring trainer), Cahojova is thrilled about larger possibilities for females’s health that she hopes will be opened up as they have the ability to take in and crunch more data.

Kegg users’ impedance readings are published to the start-up’s cloud for analysis, so its algorithms can make a tailored fertility forecast. However its site also notes it uses “anonymized/pseudonymized” information for research study into females’s health. (Cahojova specifies users’ individual data is never ever shared outside the business. “Any information we offer to researchers we deal with is completed anonymized,” is her privacy promise.)

Asked what areas of research study she’s hoping kegg will help advance, she tells us: “Researchers have noted that health problems can impact typical electrolyte cycles. In much of our internal studies we’ve seen examples where readings were ‘out of standard’ for the user. In case after case we found evidence of underlying health issues (for example infections) were the cause. In the future our goal is to comprehend how kegg can help keep track of total cervical health.”

Cahojova also states the device is being utilized by fertility instructors and physicians to help with monitoring their clients. “The charm of kegg is that by having a modern and user-friendly gadget that females like to use we can get information on modifications of vaginal fluids on a large scale. With kegg data we likewise hope to assist physicians lastly answer their billion-dollar question– how can they improve the quality of cervical fluid.”

“We are helpful of science and are open for research partnerships,” she includes. “We offered kegg for independent peer-reviewed medical research study under Dr. Gabriela L√≥pez Armas, MD, PhD, for her research study on kegg and other fertility trackers. All the participants ended up the procedures in summer of 2020 and the study is to be published independently in the future.”

While the business design for kegg is currently fixed-price hardware sales, Cahojova says the start-up is taking a look at offering subscription packages in the future. “In the future, we want to offer more to our users, e.g.: connecting them to experts to review their cycles or view of extra layers of details. Once we have actually improved services ready, we’ll look at switching to a membership design,” she adds.

Article curated by RJ Shara from Source. RJ Shara is a Bay Area Radio Host (Radio Jockey) who talks about the startup ecosystem – entrepreneurs, investments, policies and more on her show The Silicon Dreams. The show streams on Radio Zindagi 1170AM on Mondays from 3.30 PM to 4 PM.