City Tycoon To Invest In Femtech Start-Up‎


    A City tycoon and former treasurer of the Conservative Party‎, Michael Spencer, is set to invest tens of millions of pounds in Elvie, a female health start-up. Last year, the start-up struck a partnership with the NHS.

    It is understood that IPGL, the private investment vehicle of Spencer, is taking the lead for a funding round for Elvie, which this March displayed giant breasts on the major buildings of London as part of a campaign that is aimed at destigmatising public breastfeeding.

    The latest backing of the IPGL for Elvie, which is understood to total approximately £20 million, is part of a larger fundraising by the firm which could be settled as soon as this week.

    The investment by Spencer, who has invested hundreds of millions of pounds into technology-led firms since agreeing on the £3.9 billion sale of Nex Group, the financial infrastructure firm he built into a global powerhouse.

    Elvie, which raised a $6 million (£4.6 million) Series A round of funding in 2017 from backers such as Spencer and Octopus Ventures, was established in 2013 by Tania Boler and Alex Asseily, the founder of Jawbone, a wearable tech company.

    ‎Its first product is a pelvic floor trainer to help new mothers. Last summer, it made a significant breakthrough when the NHS agreed to distribute it across the United Kingdom.

    A breast pump is the latest device of Elvie was launched last September. It was launched into a market which is widely considered to have witnessed little in the way of product innovation for several decades.

    The Elvie Pump connects to a smartphone app that allows users to control the pump more discreetly as compared to a traditional device.

    It attracted major publicity when it was worn by a model named Valeria Garcia as she strode onto the catwalk at the London Fashion Week.

    City sources disclosed that other investors were participating alongside IPGL in the new funding round of Elvie, providing substantial financial firepower to help in accelerating the expansion of the company.

    Since selling Nex, IPGL has backed firms such as Osler Diagnostics, which is pioneering a technique for detecting diseases with the use of a single pinprick of blood.

    It is also an investor in the cybersecurity company called Glasswall and a biometric financial technology start-up called Veridium.