Natural Cycles Secures Strategic Investment From Samsung Ventures, Brings Cycle Tracking To Galaxy Watch5 Series

Natural Cycles Secures Strategic Investment From Samsung Ventures, Brings Cycle Tracking To Galaxy Watch5 Series

Natural Cycles, one of the leading women’s health companies in the cycle tracking and birth control space, announced today that it has secured a round of funding led by Samsung Ventures, in the amount of $7 million. The investment round also included contributions from all of Natural Cycles’ existing institutional investors Heartcore Capital, Headline, Bonnier Ventures, and EQT Ventures.

As a Class II medical device, Natural Cycles developed the world’s first app powered by a proprietary algorithm that uses body temperature and other key fertility indicators to determine each user’s unique fertility status. The app is cleared by the FDA in the United States and certified to be used as a contraceptive in Europe, Australia, and Singapore. “While most users measure their daily temperature with a manual thermometer today, our app has received regulatory clearances to integrate with third-party wearable technology,” shares Dr. Elina Berglund, cofounder of Natural Cycles with me.

Fitness and health companies that aspire to expand their operations so far have mostly overlooked a significant chance to penetrate an incredibly valuable women’s health market. Fitbit introduced its “female health tracking” feature only in 2018, while Apple started focusing more on women’s health in 2019. But, it seems that times are changing.

Through this investment and partnership, Natural Cycles’ fertility technology will support the Cycle Tracking feature integrated into Samsung’s Galaxy Watch5 series, which will be available in 32 markets, being the first time Natural Cycles’ algorithm has been adapted for a smartwatch.

Combining both technologies aims to give users more detailed insight into their menstrual cycle, both companies have confirmed, although women looking to prevent pregnancy still need to use the Natural Cycles app as the effective contraception option.

“This is another demonstration of Samsung’s open collaboration philosophy with other industry leaders to create better health experiences,” Hon Pak, Vice President and Head of the Digital Health Team, MX Business at Samsung Electronics, shares with me in an email.

As confirmed by Samsung, all data collected will be encrypted and stored on the user’s device itself, giving users more control of their health data and “better peace of mind.” The Cycle Tracking feature within the smartwatch was also recently approved by The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS) of the Republic of Korea, while the app’s Cycle Tracking feature has been registered with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and complies with CE Marking requirements.

Berglund added that there’s no denying that 2022 was a frustrating year for her as a woman, a scientist, and a leader of a woman’s health company. “I had concerns that women’s health innovation could suffer a setback but with the growth we have seen at the company – as well as the support we’re seeing from partners like Samsung – it’s evident that’s not the case.” She went on to highlight how the company reached profitability for the first time in 2022, while January 2023 was their best month ever in terms of new users signing up for the Natural Cycles app.

“I can feel a shift as women demand access to more high-quality products that serve them and their individual needs. I’m confident more companies will follow the same path and we’ll see further investment and innovation within women’s health this year.”

With over two million registered users around the world, Berglund is proud but also realistic, and has highlighted how, as a digital health company, it was essential for them to take different measuring preferences and price points into account so they can “reach as many women as possible”.

Dr. Raoul Scherwitzl, cofounder and co-CEO of Natural Cycles confirmed how the company is currently doing a series of validation for a variety of third-party devices, including the Apple Watch. “Natural Cycles is FDA-cleared to integrate with third-party wearables and the Oura Ring is currently the only third-party wearable the app integrates with,” he adds. Any additional wearables the company partners with – and they do have plans to partner with more, including wrist devices such as the Apple Watch, as per Scherwitzl – are required to pass a series of validation including clinical tests to assess whether the data quality obtained from the wearable matches the requirements to deliver high-quality and accurate women’s health experiences.

“But, we have just scratched the surface in bringing together science and technology to address an underserved – and often overlooked – area of women’s health.” He highlighted how the round the company closed was “in a modest amount”, but also “all they needed” given the priority was to bring in strategic partners as Natural Cycles ventures into the world of wearables and hardware development.


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