The Swedish media giant Bonnier is now investing in the app Natural Cycles, which measures women’s fertility, along with several other ventuer capital firms. “We can now expand outside of Sweden”, Raoul Scherwitzl, CEO and co-founder of Natural Cycles, says.
The capital infusion is $6 million (50 million SEK). The money will be used to expand geographically, particularly in the US. Earlier investors, such as Isabella “Blondinbella” Löwengrip, VCs Sunstone and E-ventures, are participating in the round.
The plan is to make the company stronger and bigger with the new money.
“We are on our way to building a great company and the financing will be used primarily for recruiting new people that can help us to expand outside Sweden,” says Raoul Scherwitzl.
The fertility app is primarily looking at the United States and Brazil, but is also “interested in expanding to Switzerland, the UK and other European countries”, Raoul Scherwitzl explains.
“We also want to invest in clinical trials and build a stronger organization. Natural Cycles operates within a very complex area with many stakeholders – women, doctors and regulators. It is crucial that we find a good balance between what is easy to use and what is medically sound. We want to combine the best from the two worlds of pharmaceuticals and technology – and build a strong brand that has a solid research foundation”, Raoul Scherwitzl says.
How does it feel to get Bonnier Growth Media as investors?
“We have been in contact with them for a while and for us it feels good. With an investor like Bonnier, we can think more long term and in that way we can build a larger company.”
Natural Cycles is an app that allows women to see which days each the month they are fertile. The user measures her body temperature and feeds the app with the numbers. After a period of gathering data the app starts showing whether the user is fertile or not based on the body temperature.
Last year the company had sales of $2 million (17 million SEK), which is a 900 percent increase from the year before, and the service is used by 100,000 users, according to the company.
Despite the great growth, the company has encountered setbacks from the Swedish Medical Products Agency (MPA), which Breakit has previously reported. In December, the MPA announced that Natural Cycles may not market the product as a contraceptive. Instead it has to use the term “fertility monitor”.
But that did not stop the founders Elina Berglund and Raoul Scherwitzl who made sure that the app was integrated into Apple Health kit in Apple Watch. Users pay a monthly or annual fee for the app.