Pasted Image At 2017 09 04 03 05 Pm

Ida Tin’s Battle to Build Clue

News, Digital Health
Lindsay Gellman, NY Times

Often, Tin, a soft-spoken thirty-seven-year-old from Copenhagen with cerulean-framed glasses, was the only woman in the room. Many potential investors balked at the notion of software with inputs for levels of menstrual bleeding, breast tenderness, and sex drive, or the capacity to digitally share windows of ovulation with a partner. Time and again, Tin told me, the men sitting across from her in pitch meetings said, “I only invest in products I can use myself.” The idea embarrassed even some who saw its business potential; one venture capitalist who eventually made a small investment insisted that his involvement be kept private. But Tin persisted, cobbling together fifty thousand euros. She launched the app, called Clue, in 2013, basing it in Berlin. It quietly amassed millions of active users, primarily in the United States. “This was clearly not a niche product,” Tin said. This past November, Clue announced that it had closed a twenty-million-euro round of funding.

Tin’s experience highlights a blind spot in the global investment community, which has been eager to throw cash at the next food-delivery or ride-sharing app but tends to shun products by and for women—or else hangs back and lets them twist in the wind for too long. When it comes to menstruation-related products, and technologies catering to women’s health more broadly, Tin said, “there’s still a social taboo.” Read more on The New Yorker