emtech firm Flo Health, behind one of the world’s most-used period and fertility-tracking apps, has netted $50 million (£36.2 million) in investment taking it to near-unicorn status.
The London-headquartered startup said the Series B funding round, led by European tech investors Target Global and VNV Global, brings its total capital raised to $65 million and values the firm at around $800 million.
It is aiming for $100 million in annual revenues, made from subscriptions, by the end of 2021.
Flo has been downloaded over 200 million times and claims 43 million monthly users. Operating in 20 languages, it offers access to medical experts, personalised health insights and community forums. It has tracked more than 1 billion menstrual cycles.
The 350-strong company will use new cash to help hire tech talent across product, engineering and medical roles.
Cash will also be used to improve its personalisation offering, and to fund research partnerships with universities.
Flo chief executive, Dmitry Gurski, told the Standard he is looking to hire 200 people, including around 100 roles based in London.
He said the new developments will aim to provide advanced cycle insights and symptom patterns in order to help people “understand if what they are experiencing is considered to be okay, and as a result help users proactively improve their overall health”.
Gurski added that femtech startups still currently net smaller investments than others startups in the health and fitness sector, and that this “is a shame”.
Per Brilioth, CEO of VNV Global, said: “With its deep medical expertise and advanced product, Flo is addressing a critical gap in preventative care, an area that has been neglected for far too long.”
The company recently made headlines for less positive reasons. In 2019 a WSJ investigation alleged Flo had shared some users’ data, including on ovulation and pregnancy, with third parties including Facebook. It was claimed that companies were then able to use this data to inform targeted adverts.
In January, the US Federal Trade Commission alleged that this happened despite Flo promising to keep users’ health data private. It has reached a settlement with the app requiring it to obtain affirmative consent from users before sharing their personal health information with others.
A Flo spokesperson said: “We do not and will not share any personal information about our users’ health with any third parties without users’ consent. Our agreement with the FTC is not an admission of any wrongdoing and allows us to decisively put the FTC matter behind us.”