Using IP To Attract Investors In A FemTech Company

Potter Clarkson


Potter Clarkson is one of Europe’s leading full-service IP law firms. Our IP attorneys and solicitors maximise the value of our clients' innovation by providing the experience, vision and clarity required to create, protect, leverage and defend their ideas in the most commercial and strategic ways all over the world.
FemTech companies are largely technology-based, consumer-centric companies that provide solutions to issues related to women's health. These companies look to improve women's...
UK Intellectual Property
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FemTech companies are largely technology-based, consumer-centric companies that provide solutions to issues related to women's health. These companies look to improve women's health and wellbeing across multiple female-specific conditions such as menopause, maternal health, and menstrual health.

In the past few years, the number of FemTech companies and the interest in them has mushroomed. This growth is expected to continue as the public's awareness of these issues continues to improve, alongside the increase in the amount of funding available for these companies.


While more and more funding is now becoming available for FemTech companies, a mix of investor biases and market misconceptions still create hurdles for any FemTech looking to raise capital.

For example, the vast majority of FemTech companies are founded by women (more than 70%, as reported by McKinsey1). However, female-founded start-ups only account for less than 2% of the total venture capital funding invested in Europe and the United States.2

Therefore, raising money as a FemTech company is no mean feat. So, how can a FemTech company make themselves attractive to investors?

1. Get your story straight!

While society is becoming more understanding of women's health and wellbeing issues, people are still slow to appreciate the need for solving these issues. The market can often be seen as nuanced and small to people who have never experienced, or sometimes even heard of, the conditions that companies are trying to treat.

A clear narrative on the problem you are trying to solve, how you plan to solve it, and why there is a need for your technology is a good place to start.

2. Understand your IP

FemTech companies are technology-based companies, often rich in IP. From drug repurposing and dosing to software in a tracking app to wearable devices.

Whether or not you are ready to file for registered IP rights (e.g., patents, registered trademarks and designs), it is still vital to identify what IP you have and the best way to protect it.

One way to do this is to put the product in the middle of the page and then write down all the different types of IP around the page. For instance:

  • The way the product works may give rise to a patent application.
  • The design of the product may be protected by a registered or unregistered design.
  • The name of the company and/or the name of the product may be protectable by a trademark
  • Trade secrets may be used to protect information that you wish to keep in the company, such as the methods and processes for making your product.

Once you know what IP you have, you can then decide what to do with it.

3. How are you going to exploit your IP

Some initial considerations:

  • What territories are you interested in? Where are your clients and competitors based?
  • Are you looking to license out the technology to third parties?
  • Are you planning on partnering with another company?
  • Are you going for the private market or the NHS?
  • What is your IP budget? No matter how big or small it is, you must have an idea of your budget and make sure any money you spend on IP is working in the interest of your overall business plan.

The answers to the above questions should be written down and form the beginnings of your IP strategy. In summary, what IP do you have? And what are you planning to do with it?

4. Surround yourself with the appropriate team

Fundraising in the FemTech field can be difficult, but you don't have to go it alone. In the early stages, a company is unlikely to have a product ready to take to market. Therefore, investment is likely to be based on ideas, the business plan, and your early results.

A qualified IP professional, such as a patent attorney, can help you get your IP story straight before approaching an investor. A patent attorney can carry out an IP audit of the company and help you to prepare an IP strategy.

It is important that anyone you bring into your team understands your technology.

In FemTech, the innovations often involve a mix of pharmaceuticals, AI, and medical devices. At Potter Clarkson, we understand the value for companies, however, big or small, to have a cross-disciplinary team at their disposal. Therefore, for each client, we put together bespoke teams that bring together exactly the right mix of the best qualified specialists from our life sciences, biotech, engineering and AI and software teams.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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