UAE a frontrunner in MENA’s race for FemTech innovation

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  • UAE FemTech sector driven by e-commerce platforms focused on women’s healthcare
  • 60% of UAE FemTech companies address Women’s Wellness and Menstrual Health
  • UAE FemTech startups are predominately founded and led by women, but receive less funding than their male counterparts
  • FemTech Analytics to host ‘Raising Capital in FemTech: Opportunities and Challenges’ conference to accelerate FemTech development and address the funding gap

United Arab Emirates: One-third of Middle East and North Africa’s (MENA) FemTech companies are based in the UAE, according to a Q4 2021 ‘FemTech Industry in the UAE’ report published by FemTech Analytics, a subsidiary of UK-based consortium the Deep Knowledge Group. 

The report highlights e-commerce platforms focused on women’s healthcare as a key driver of the UAE FemTech sector. While MENA’s overall share of the total number of FemTech companies barely reaches 6%, the UAE is well-positioned to achieve exponential growth within the FemTech industry, especially considering the number of UAE projects set to launch in the near future.

FemTech (female technology) is a term applied to a category of software, diagnostics, products, and services that use technology to focus on women’s health and wellness. Approximately 60% of FemTech companies in the UAE are addressing women’s wellness and menstrual health. This report covers core and non-core companies with a direct and indirect focus to advance women’s wellbeing in the UAE.

To facilitate further discourse about FemTech and accelerate the development of the industry in the UAE and globally, FemTech Analytics is hosting a virtual public conference titled ‘Raising Capital in FemTech: Opportunities and Challenges’. The event is now open for registration via  www.femtech.health/conference-18november.

The event aims to address the low levels of investment, which represent a fundamental challenge for FemTech companies. Leading investors and FemTech founders are set to share their insights and best practices and answer questions about raising FemTech capital.

The UAE is actively prioritising women’s health by accelerating the growth of female technologies. By doing so, the country has demonstrated the potential to lead by example globally and regionally. It has a national strategy in place to empower women, and its Gender Balance Council works to develop policies that support women at various levels. There are many female-empowering organizations in the UAE, launched with the support of both the government and the business community, enabling women to work and take initiative, and providing them with healthcare, grants, networking opportunities, financing and knowledge.

Given most investors in the wider MENA region are men, the lack of understanding of female healthcare needs makes them reluctant to invest in female-related products. In addition, most FemTech startups in the UAE are founded and led by women, who tend to receive less funding than their male-led counterparts. Despite the increasing interest from governments, entrepreneurs and investors in recent years, the industry remains underestimated and brimming with potential.

Commenting on the findings, Kate Batz, Director of FemTech Analytics (USA), said: “The UAE emerged as a global powerhouse of education, business and community for women, accelerating equality, diversity and inclusion across the public and private sectors. There is a constant growth of female representation in the UAE government and across industries nationwide. These socio-economic transformations are creating a solid foundation for FemTech development and largely contributing to the nation’s prospects within the industry.”

Julia Bondaruk, Senior Strategic Partnerships Manager, FemTech Analytics (UAE), added: “The FemTech industry encompasses a wide range of business technologies aimed at empowering female founders and catering to women’s health and wellbeing. Although the industry emerged a few years ago, its challenges have been unresolved for decades. By developing HealthTech and Longevity solutions, FemTech seeks to fulfil the long-term unmet needs of women.

Today, pregnancy, nursing, and reproductive health represent approximately 50% of the overall FemTech market.”

The ‘FemTech Industry in the UAE’ report showcases the recent developments, current state and short-term projections of the emerging local FemTech market. Based on the assembled and analyzed data, the report reveals vital features, trends, industry innovations, technologies, market size, among other perspectives.

The analytics in the report are based on information about 56 organizations directly or indirectly contributing to the UAE FemTech market, including 30 companies and 26 investors selected by sector. The report also depicts the top FemTech influencers in the country and their contributions to the development of the industry.

About FemTech Analytics:

FemTech Analytics (FTA) is a strategic analytical agency focused on the emerging FemTech sector, providing insights into key sub-sectors such as Reproductive Health & Contraception, General Healthcare, Longevity, Mental Health, Menstrual Health, Pregnancy & Nursing, Sexual Health, Pelvic & Uterine Healthcare, Menopause Care, and Women’s Wellness. FTA offers a range of services including research and in-depth analysis on the FemTech industry, profiling of companies and government agencies based on their innovation potential and business activity, and consulting and analytical services to advance the overall FemTech sector.

FemTech Analytics is part of Deep Knowledge Group, a consortium of commercial and nonprofit organizations active on many fronts in the realm of DeepTech and Frontier Technologies (AI, Longevity, FinTech, GovTech, InvestTech), ranging from scientific research to investment, entrepreneurship, analytics, media, philanthropy, and more.