Ambitious founders solving a real problem using data: Why EQT Ventures led Natural Cycles’ €25m Series B

Natural Cycles co-founders Elina & Raoul

Today, Stockholm-based Natural Cycles, the world’s first certified app for non-hormonal contraception, has announced its €25m Series B, led by EQT Ventures.

The investment was made alongside existing Natural Cycles backers eVentures, Sunstone and Bonnier Growth Media. For EQT Ventures, Natural Cycles checks all the boxes for why the fund exists and what the team set out to support:

  • It’s founded by two exceptional, high-ambition founders: Elina and Raoul (who also btw are married, but that’s certainly not a requirement for EQT Ventures… ;) ). They have the passion, tenacity and stamina to go through the entrepreneurial highs and lows necessary to build a huge company. The ability to keep going despite setbacks, sometimes referred to as “grit”, is rare and admirable.
  • Natural Cycles solves a real world problem. There are millions of women all over the world who would love to have access to non-hormonal contraception. Hormonal contraception, like the pill, works for many but not for all. As a man, I must admit that this was a bit of a blindspot for me before I met the Natural Cycles team, but what really opened up my eyes was going to the AppStore. I read countless reviews from women who feel that Natural Cycles has changed their lives for the better. Don’t believe me? Check out the top three reviews (or any others, there are thousands like them) on Apple’s AppStore in the UK:
  • This real world problem is solved with the help of data from the its users, which is an advantage that increases over time as more people use the Natural Cycles app. Many previous studies in this area have been limited by the data sets available. With years of daily usage of the Natural Cycles app by thousands of women, as well as continuous improvements to the algorithm, the team has probably collected the world’s largest dataset and one of the most advanced models of the dynamics behind a woman’s ovulation cycle. And the team has managed to condense all this value into a self-learning app that gives women greater insight into their bodies. As a team in general, and particularly EQT Ventures’ Analytics Partner and investment advisor Henrik Landgren, we’re a bit obsessive when it comes to algorithms and data-driven products. We were very excited by what we saw when we looked at these models more closely and what the Natural Cycles team had created so far. There’s a huge opportunity to develop it even further.
  • It’s a highly regulated market and the Natural Cycles team sees that as an opportunity rather than a limitation. Years of research, exciting compliance audits and the implementation of regulatory processes resulted in Natural Cycles becoming the only contraceptive app to achieve the high standards for CE marking in 2016. Natural Cycles now works with multiple authorities to transparently show how it works, that it works and that women all over the world should get access. These achievements gives the company a nice head start.

Today is a day of celebration both at EQT Ventures and Natural Cycles: we’re celebrating the start of our joint journey. Elina and Raoul have built an impressive company and a great team around them up to this point, and now the EQT Ventures team will be there to support and be by their side during the journey and challenges ahead.