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.”