“We went with the face and the braveness”: femtech Gestar captures its 1st spherical of funding via fairness crowdfunding
The femtech Gestar, which connects professionals of health and well-being to pregnant women, mothers and fathers in search of a humanized service, has just raised its first investment. Founded by Lettycia Vidal, and today with Giovana Milani Sgréccia and Karla Fonseca as partners, the startup raised BRL 410,000 in an equity crowdfunding round with 60 investors. The funds will be applied in technologymarketing and operations.
The entrepreneurs describe Gestar as an “Amazon of maternal and child services”. The platform acts as a marketplace in which tempting people (people who wish to have children), pregnant women and mothers and fathers of children in early childhood (up to six years old) can find professionals for free. Currently, it brings together 220 professionals from 20 different specialties, going beyond the medical field, with the presence of doulas, breastfeeding consultants, physiotherapists and lawyers specializing in obstetric violence – a theme that motivated Vidal to create femtech.
Launched in 2020, the Gestar platform today allows clients to search by specialty and book appointments digitally, with access to the professionals’ agendas. In a new version, scheduled for release by the end of October, it will be possible to make payments within the femtech system itself, in addition to making inquiries via teleservice. More than 5,800 users have already registered on the Gestar platform, with 3,500 families actually using the services, either to make appointments or to participate in one of the educational events promoted by the startup.
For professionals, Gestar offers a free plan that allows you to create a profile on the platform and participate in groups, events and courses. By contracting plans, for prices ranging from R$69 to R$99, it is also possible to use the system to manage the routine and access specialists to improve digital positioning, including support to produce courses and workshops. “Our expectation with this contribution is that more women achieve pregnancy and motherhood with positive outcomes and that more professionals can have their careers boosted through Gestar”, says Vidal.
After structuring its team, in 2021, the startup reached a total of 10 employees, including the partners. From that point on, it registered a large growth in the base of partner professionals, which jumped from 37 to 240 – reaching the limit allowed by the platform that ran its MVP (minimum viable product). The way out was to start raising funds using the equity crowdfunding model, allowing investment by individuals and companies, with amounts starting at R$1,000. “We saw that to grow and scale, we were going to need new technology and marketing relevance. We went with the face and the courage”, says Giovana Milani Sgréccia, partner of Gestar.
The process began in March of this year on the 3C Invest platform and lasted the 180 days stipulated by the CVM (Securities Commission). In all, 60 investors participated in the round, with emphasis on BlackWin, a platform that supports and encourages black women to become angel investors, with a contribution of around BRL 135,000, and Lighthouse, a venture capital investment house that put R$ 61,500 on the project. The partners say that the journey was not simple and that, at times, the macroeconomic scenario hampered funding. “We entered many acceleration programs to generate contacts with business partners. The investor who is with us believes in our purpose, in the change we want to bring to society, and does not just see growth in scale”, points out Sgréccia.
The contribution was the first made by BlackWin, which entered the round with three weeks to go, betting on the idea to test the model itself. During this period, Jess Silva Rios and Luana Ozemela, founders of the initiative, mobilized a network of 14 investors, including black women and allies. “Gestar caught our attention because we need to look at women’s health and have founders leading the solutions, since the industry has been thought of by men for centuries. They have done a lot with the resources they have obtained so far, they have a market perspective, engagement and the possibility of execution”, declares Rios.
After the funding, Gestar reached a market value of R$ 6.4 million. Half of the money in the round will go to technology. Another 30% will be allocated to marketing, and the remaining 20% will go to operations, with a focus on hiring for the commercial sector. femtech expects to end 2022 with a 200% growth compared to 2021. It is also preparing to develop new fronts of action for B2B, with advanced negotiations, in the contractual phase, to bring the humanized vision of maternal and child care into companies through its educational arm, with courses developed by partner professionals. The proposal is to offer the service as a benefit to employees and serve as a bridge to connect specialists with potential patients. The expectation is to exceed the mark of 1 thousand professionals on the platform by March 2023.
Source: PEGN Magazine