Silent breast-pump pioneer Elvie taps BlackRock in £58m funding drive
Written by Hit Music Radio News on 26/07/2021
A British pioneer of silent breast-pumps and other so-called femtech products is putting the finishing touches to a £58m capital injection that will include backing from the world’s largest asset manager.
Sky News has learnt that BlackRock – or funds managed by it – and a vehicle set up by Britain’s biggest banks after the 2008 financial crisis are committing the lion’s share of the new funding for Elvie, which launched eight years ago.
Insiders said the Series C fundraising, which is expected to be signed in the coming days, would be led by the Business Growth Fund (BGF), which was established by high street lenders including Barclays and Lloyds Banking Group in 2010.
BlackRock, the multitrillion dollar fund manager, is also investing as part of the round, the sources added.
The new shareholders’ addition to Elvie’s investor register underlines the extent to which the products it creates are becoming increasingly mainstream.
Tania Boler, Elvie’s founder, has frequently recalled her initial discussions with prospective investors, during which she was repeatedly told that women’s health products were “too niche”.
Its products include the Curve, a wearable, silicone breast-pump, and the Elvie Trainer, which helps women with pelvic floor-strengthening exercises.
The Trainer made a significant breakthrough in 2018 when the NHS agreed to distribute it across the UK.
Its first breast pump – also launched that year – entered a market widely regarded to have witnessed little in the way of product innovation for decades.
The Elvie Pump connects to a smartphone app allowing users to control the pump more discreetly than a traditional device.
It attracted substantial publicity when it was worn by Valeria Garcia, a model, as she strode onto the catwalk during London Fashion Week in 2018.
Investors in earlier funding rounds included IPGL, the investment vehicle of the financier and one-time Conservative Party treasurer, Lord Spencer.
Raine, the merchant bank, has advised Elvie on its latest fundraising, according to investors.
Elvie declined to comment, while neither the BGF, BlackRock or Raine responded to enquiries from Sky News.
© Sky News 2020