Sexual health, and particularly women’s sexual health, can often be overlooked by the medical industry. Seattle-based startup Joylux is hoping to change that with its “intimate wellness” device that helps women strengthen their pelvic floor muscle, combating health problems that come from pregnancy and aging.
Joylux is launching the device in the U.S. on Jan 16, founder and CEO Colette Courtion told GeekWire. The company has also secured commitments for a full $5 million Series A funding round and could raise more funds beyond that, she said.
Courtion declined to identify investors in the round pending a formal announcement in January. The new round follows a $500,000 seed investment in 2016.
“Our goal is to be the de-facto leader in this growing category of femtech or women’s health or intimate wellness,” Courtion said.
Joylux is targeting a problem familiar to millions of women in the U.S. — the weakening of pelvic floor muscles, often due to pregnancy or just getting older. That weakening can lead to symptoms like pain during sex and problems with bladder control.
The traditional treatment is Kegel exercises, manually contracting the pelvic floor muscle to strengthen it. That treatment hasn’t changed much in the past 70 years.
The vSculpt introduces technology to the process: It zaps the pelvic floor muscle with sonic vibrations, making it repeatedly contract to build up strength.
The device launched in Europe in early 2017 and will now be available to consumers in the U.S. as a wellness device. Courtion said the company will sell the vSculpt device directly to consumers and will also distribute its vSculpt Pro device through doctor’s offices.
“This is exactly like the Clarisonic business model, which was also a wellness product,” Courtion said. Because the vSculpt is going on the market as a wellness device instead of a medical device, it can’t be prescribed by doctors.
Courtion said the company now has 10 employees and recently hired Seattle executive Peter Weiss as its CFO, with plans to grow aggressively in the coming year.