Nokia is Throwing Money at an App That Tracks Women’s Menstrual Cycles

Finnish mobile phone manufacturer Nokia is one of the leading investors for an app that predicts when women will feel pain caused by their menstrual cycle. The app, called Clue, has so far raised $20 million and uses an algorithm that tracks the user’s menstrual cycles.

The software is able to learn and predict when a woman is fertile and then identify when they will be in pain. The app can help users who “want to get pregnant, be prepared for your next period or understand your mood swings,” according to .

Launched in mid-2013, the app reportedly has around 5 million monthly active users, according to CNBC. Clue founder Ida Tin claims that the number of users are “growing very nicely,” without giving the actual figure.

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Aside from Nokia (via its VC arm Nokia Growth Partners), investors Union Square Ventures, Mosaic Ventures, Brigitte Mohn and Christophe Maire also participated in the round.

Nokia’s interest in Clue is seen as a strategic move as it expands into other mobile areas such as virtual reality and healthcare. The company has also recently acquired fitness wearable gadget maker Withings for a cool $181.35 million.

The investment and integration with Nokia’s products in the future will definitely benefit Clue as it has so far not been able to monetize its app. Tin, however, stated that the focus for the company at the moment is to expand its user base.  

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“We have many ideas, we will start experimenting this year,” Tin told CNBC.

“We have chosen to be strictly consumer facing, at this point we want to focus on business models that are consumer facing. We are very much a trust-based service, people trust us with very personal information. By having a consumer facing business model, people can understand how we make money. If it’s a business model that is invisible, they might assume we are selling data, which we aren’t doing.”

In the United States, there are other apps similar to Clue. Startup Glow, for instance, also tracks its users’ menstrual cycles, which can provide information on ovulation and mood. But while the competition in the market may be crowded, Clue’s clientele is mostly in the U.S.

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Expansion to other parts of the world is ongoing, however, with local-language versions of its app having been launched both in Japan and India.

The firm’s chief executive said they are eyeing a worldwide audience with Clue.

“There is a huge social movement around menstrual health and mobile growth is exploding, so all these things combined make these markets interesting,” Tin told CNBC. We are addressing a real need for people and that need is truly global.”

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