Flo, a fertility focused period-tracking app, has actually closed a $50 million Series B financing round which it says values the business at $800M– highlighting how much value investors are now connecting to women’s health tech.
The 2016-founded start-up raised a $1M seed in its very first year and has actually gone on to raise an overall of $65M. The most recent B funding round is co-led by VNV Global and Target Worldwide.
Flo’s user-base has actually grown to around 200M globally– a percentage of whom pay it a membership to access unique material, in addition to the core duration tracking features.
The app utilizes machine learning to provide users “curated” cycle tracking and predictions, customized health insights, and real-time health alerts– based upon tracked symptoms, with information fed in by its sizeable user base. So while it began as a period tracker Flo now touts its app as a proactive, preventative healthcare tool for females– linking them to “science-backed material, expert-led courses and precise cycle predictions”.
However that’s likewise a step of increased competition for women-centric energies like duration tracking– with Apple, for instance, (lastly) adding cycle tracking in the Health app that’s native to iOS back in 2019. So femtech startups like Flo have to do a lot more than supply standard utility to win ladies these days.
Flo appears to be getting something right with its existing material and marketing mix: Over the previous 12 months it says its active subscriber base has actually increased 4x– hitting 1.5 M in August 2021– and it’s targeting reaching a $100M Annual Run Rate by the end of the year.
While its core service model is subscription-based, Flo also uses a freemium variation of the app too (to provide basic duration tracking). And all versions of the app can collect a large range of information from users– consisting of however not limited to sensitive health data related to users periods, fertility and pregnancies intentions.
Per its iOS App Privacy disclosure notification, the app might connect a wide range of other information to the user too– including search history (!) and contact information. This reveal also exposes Flo’s app may track users’ place, purchases, usage data and identifiers in order to link their activity on third party apps and sites.
Given that it’s dishing out personalized health forecasts you ‘d anticipate a lot of information capture to be going on.
Plainly, however, some of the data types its apps can collect relate to marketing efforts, instead of health– and Flo has actually suffered some personal privacy errors on this front.
The business’s interest for gathering and sharing user information got it into hot water with the Federal Trade Commission just recently, after a 2019 report by the Wall Street Journal– which evaluated a number of apps’ data-sharing routines and found Flo passing in-app activity to Facebook– such as when a user was having their period or had actually informed it of an intention to get pregnant– regardless of loud marketing declares that it would keep user data private.
This January Flo settled with the FTC over those allegations without admitting any wrongdoing.
As part of the regards to the FTC settlement, it is currently displaying a banner at the top of its website which links to a legal statement on the matter– where it notifies users that between June 30, 2016 and February 23, 2019, its app sent a recognizing number related to users together with details about their period and pregnancy to 3rd party adtech companies that Flo uses for analystics and measurement services, including Facebook, Flurry, Material, and Google.
As part of the FTC settlement Flo likewise accepted acquire an independent review of its personal privacy practices which it would acquire users’ permission before sharing their health information. The statement on its site repeats this– telling users it will not share any details about their health with any company “unless we get your authorization”.