With women’s health being sadly underfunded for far too long, innovation needs to move beyond mere menstrual tracking, fertility, and pregnancy. As more challenger startups jump onto the bandwagon of the rapidly growing women's health and ‘elderly’ care market, lesser-known problems are now being dealt with.
Bladder issues, incontinence, and leaking are severely understudied and stigmatised space. Taking on this taboo is a London-based healthcare company. On a mission to bring bladder care into the mainstream, Jude has now raised £2 million.
The pre-seed round was led by June Angelides MBE at Samos VC and saw the participation of 12 female angel investors and Access VC, Reckitt’s innovation fund; Stephen Bourke, founder of Echo Pharmacy, now Lloyds Direct; and David Rowan, founder of Voyagers and founding editor-in-chief of Wired UK.
The women investors include Montse Suarez, founding partner of Vaultier 7 and Iris Ventures; Rupa Popat, entrepreneur and angel investor in under-represented founders; Maya Moufarek, ex-CMO of Pharmacy2U; Deepali Nangia, co-founder of Alma Angels; Eva Tarasova, investment director at Wharton Asset Management; Renee Parker, ex-head of luxury beauty at Amazon; Triin Linamagi, co-founder at Sie Ventures; Lian Michelson, investment director at Vala Capital; Viktoria Tchoudakov, VP growth marketing at ZOE; and Samira Ann Qassim, co-founder at Pink Salt Ventures.
The funding will drive the company’s R&D to further develop its affordable solutions for bladder care. It is also looking at running large scale clinical supplements trials, expanding the marketing team and continuing focus on educational content to break down taboos and remove stigma around bladder health.
After having invested in men’s hair loss treatments and commercialised pain-relieving tampons for women with endometriosis, the 28-year-old founder of Jude, Peony Li is smashing one of Britain’s biggest taboos to bring bladder care into the mainstream conversation. Launched in January 2022, the platform offers fully biodegradable bladder-care essentials, 100% plant-based liners, pads, and clinically tested supplements.
Peony Li, founder, Jude said: “Bladder issues impact 1 in 3 women or 14 million people in the U.K. I wanted to break the stigma around bladder care and create a community and brand that makes people feel heard, seen and supported. I know I’ll have succeeded when we all start having conversations about incontinence in the same way we talk about periods and menopause.”
June Angelides MBE from Samos VC said: “Samos is attracted to exceptional founders looking to develop new consumer brands, where the mission is abundantly clear, and which have the potential to disrupt existing industries and upend the incumbents.”
Greg Chabidon, head of global business unit for vitamins, minerals and supplements, Reckitt said: “Bladder issues, incontinence and leaking is a severely understudied and stigmatised space. Jude’s Bladder Strength Supplements are clinically tested and formulated with two natural botanicals that have shown very promising results for improving bladder care and the impacts this has on both sleep and overall wellbeing.”
The platform has already shipped to 2,600 customers.