Our interview series Startup Stories features founders from our Future Health and Future City Accelerators. This edition showcases Miriam Santer & Isabelle Guenou, founders of theblood.
What are you working on?
We are building the biggest FemTech platform worldwide and we use menstrual blood tests to generate monthly data insights for women.
What is your killer value proposition and who are you building it for?
Our healthcare system and the pharmaceutical industry still don’t have a lot of information about women’s health in 2023. Women have only been required to participate in clinical studies since 1993. Even though women care more about health and spend more money on it, this is an underserved and underfunded market opportunity.
The use of menstrual blood is very new, as most of the components are still largely unexplored, and so far no laboratory in Europe has been approved to analyze menstrual blood. Theblood provides a health database that has never existed before. We can revolutionize healthcare and provide universal access to medical assistance if we combine and expand our knowledge of female health.
With our product, we can give millions of women access to health information without the need for the existing and failing healthcare system. Our product will analyze health values and vital signs on a monthly basis. With these results, vitamin deficiencies or changes in hormone levels can be easily identified and tracked over time through an app. With this new level of knowledge, users can change their diets directly or use telemedical advice to talk to an expert in a self-determined manner.
Why does this matter and why are you the right team to drive this forward?
Our founder, Isabelle, came up with the idea because of her own experience with pain during menstruation. As a former competitive athlete, she had to take the pill for years in order to always be ready to perform. A few months ago, she was diagnosed with endometriosis, a disease that is diagnosed on average after 8 years.
Since we have a first-mover advantage, we are already building a strong brand and community that sets us apart from competitors. Our USP is not only the unique technology but also the brand that we are building. We are committed to improving the quality of the menstrual experience by developing smart and effective products created with meticulous attention to detail, with efficacy and sensory pleasure in mind. We believe unequivocally that well-considered design will improve our lives.
Our period product is more than a hygiene product—it’s a lifestyle product. We believe in the use of menstrual blood because it can be a mediator of knowledge and is much more than just waste. The path to revival is the enrichment of knowledge.
What are the next big milestones you have to reach?
Theblood is currently working on the release of the first menstrual blood test, which is expected to launch in autumn 2023. Our main priorities for the next six months are the clinical validation and certification of the product as well as the development of the digital infrastructure and the app. Furthermore, we aim to generate our first revenue with the launch of a PMS shake in spring 2023.
Share with the audience a particular moment that inspired you during the Future Health Accelerator
One of the moments that inspired us the most in our journey through BIA’s Future Health Accelerator program was the pitch session at the end of the program. At this point, you are able to show how far you have come over the last few months and see the great progress of all the other startups and cohort members. This is inspiring and motivating for the future. Also, the one-on-one coaching sessions helped us build up our personal strengths and resilience, which gave the founding team the right leadership skills.
Would you like to share anything else?
We have recently launched a new blog post series on the topic of menstruation, written by our lead scientist. Through these, we emphasize the importance of knowledge transfer and destigmatization. It is also a way to contribute to our community while still developing our products!
Check out our blog and learn more about the menstrual cycle, biomarkers, biohacking, and more!
BIA is a boutique agency developing innovation, transformation and learning journeys for corporates, startups, and scaleups. Our pre-seed startup accelerators are our special impact initiatives, supporting ambitious entrepreneurs working to disrupt the future of urban life, health, and technology. Our programs are backed by the Berlin Senate and the European Social Fund.