A new brand dedicated to making workout apparel safer for women just received a huge boost of monetary support.
Oya Femtech Apparel, a Black women-owned femtech apparel brand has raised $1.3M in an oversubscribed pre-seed round to help prevent health issues like yeast infections and bacterial vaginosis for women who train in clothing that retain moisture for long periods of time.
US women spent upwards of $43.3 billion a year to combat feminine health issues like urinary tract infections, ringworm, folliculitis, and urinary incontinence.
“As a collegiate female athlete, I found myself struggling with recurrent vaginal health hurdles and in the dark about why,” said Mitchella Gilbert, co-founder, and CEO of Oya Femtech Apparel. “Then, many years later, I discovered the leggings I had been wearing were the culprit. Unfortunately, most performance wear is made with spandex blends, which trap moisture and do not breathe. This is not good for women athletes who need ventilation and moisture control. I took it upon myself to solve the issue by creating a line of performance wear designed with women’s health in mind.”
According to reports, the round was led by the Sixers Innovation Lab led the round, with co-investments coming from REI Path Ahead Ventures, R/GA Ventures, an SPV managed by Union Heritage Venture Partners, and Techstars Sports.
Per a report by Forbes the brand’s name has a deep cultural significance. “Oya is a mother goddess from Nigeria’s Yoruban mythology that symbolizes rebirth, fertility, and storms,” Gilbert told the outlet. “I thought Oya was a great name for a sportswear company fighting feminine health issues with patented designs and textiles.”