Women’s health and wellness brand, Elvie, has announced plans to open a new R&D office in Bristol. The investment in the city is believed to be the first from any femtech business and will create 50 jobs in engineering and product design.
The office will officially open its doors in the New Year and Elvie is already inviting applications. The team will work collaboratively with Elvie’s headquarters in London creating products and innovations that have a positive impact on women’s health issues, such as pelvic floor weakness, which can cause incontinence.
Founded in 2013, Elvie has two main products. The first, Elvie Trainer, is an award-winning Kegel trainer and app used to help women strengthen their pelvic floor via fun, five-minute workouts. The second product, Elvie Pump, is the world’s first silent wearable breast pump, transforming the lives of new mothers.
In 2019 Elvie raised $42 million in Series B investment making it the largest femtech funding round ever. As a result of investor confidence and strong sales it also launched in China, opening an office in Shanghai, and crossed the Atlantic to set up an office in New York – with Bristol next in line. Elvie has also been recognised for its innovative product design, including at the 2019 Dezeen Awards, where the Elvie Pump won the Wearable Design of the Year Award.
Why Bristol? The city’s growing reputation for tech, the wealth of talented people, and Bristol’s enviable quality of life made it a perfect place to help drive Elvie’s international expansion.
A recent Tech Nation report showed that it’s scaleups like Elvie – later stage, high growth companies – that are driving the UK’s global tech advantage. In fact, these businesses are attracting 80% of all investment in technology in the UK. As Elvie continues to expand and develop new products the brand’s personality and high profile campaigning to tackle taboos around women’s health will be at home in Bristol’s open-minded atmosphere.
Commenting on the Bristol expansion, CEO and Founder, Tania Boler, said: “Bristol has produced some fantastic homegrown success stories, especially in tech. We can’t wait to be part of that community.
“We’ve been working hard to make a genuine impact on society for over five years, and as a company, we’re focused on designing innovative products that can continue to make a difference in the UK and around the world. This expansion helps us to do that. Elvie will be launching eight new products by 2020 and 16 by 2022. Ambitious plans need superstar teams and Bristol will be key in helping us achieve our goals.”
Ex Dyson engineer and now Elvie Chief Product Officer, Jon O’Toole, explained: “We’re shout-it-from-the-rooftops excited to be welcoming more amazing talent to our team. Before choosing Bristol we looked at various options for our second R&D office, but it was the city’s unique blend of culture, tech excellence, and quirky sense of humour that clinched it.”
Tim Bowles, Mayor of the West of England, said: “It’s fantastic news that Elvie is keen to expand its UK base by investing in the West of England. It’s a brilliantly innovative brand which is of course a natural fit with our region. This will be a great addition to our thriving medtech and digital health sector – taking it into exciting new directions with developments in femtech which will create even more opportunities for our highly-skilled residents.
“We’re proud to support investment into our region by providing business intelligence, through Invest Bristol & Bath account managing Elvie’s move to the region – connecting the company with property, tech clusters and our Local Industrial Strategy. We can’t wait to welcome Tania, Jon and the team to the West of England, and the Combined Authority will continue to work closely with Elvie to support its growth and ambitions in the region.”
Boler concluded: “We can’t wait to start bringing in fresh blood to help us build Elvie’s new line of products. So if you’re an engineer, designer or data scientist in the Bristol area, or simply just passionate about developing extraordinary products and improving women’s health, we’d love to hear from you!”
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