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Startup developing wearable to tackle period pain raises £1.8m

Samphire Neuroscience
Samphire Neuroscience's Nettle headband. Image credit: Samphire Neuroscience

Samphire Neuroscience, a London-based medtech startup specialising in women’s health, has raised £1.8m in funding.

The startup was founded in 2021 to address, what co-founder and CEO Emilė Radytė described as, the “notoriously under-researched and underfunded” issue of women’s menstrual health.

Samphire Neuroscience is developing a wearable tech device to address a range of challenges brought on during menstruation.

“Women have been expected to compromise when it comes to taking care of their minds and bodies,” said Radytė.

The startup’s flagship product is a headband, called Nettle, that uses low-current electrical pulses to target areas of the brain responsible for pain and mood regulation.

The company claims that its headband can safely provide targeted relief from the pain experienced during the menstrual cycle. Radytė also said the startup’s tech could mitigate mental distress felt during the cycle by supporting cognitive function.

“What we’re doing is approaching things differently – with the brain as the nexus of health,” the co-founder said.

“Mental and physical well-being are essential components of a complex system governed by the brain, and unlocking that system’s capabilities will lead to breakthroughs beyond our current understanding, and Samphire is going to help forge that path.”

A study from 2019 that found that more than a third of women reported not being able to perform all their regular daily activities due to menstrual symptoms.

The cash for the funding round came from venture firms SOSV, FIRSTPICK, Afterwork, Seaside, Ayuh, and CVX Ventures.

“I have spent my career investing in mental health solutions and was struck by how unique Samphire’s approach is,” said Duncan Turner, general partner at SOSV.

“It not only pays attention to – and gives a solution for – challenges that are so common yet overlooked, but also aims to support women across their lives, so they could thrive.”

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