Ennis, a femaletech start-up started by Olympic champion Jessica Ennis-Hill, has raised £1 million to promote development and fund research into the effects of period cycles on female athletes.
Ennis-Hill founded the start-up in 2019. This year the start-up launched a cycle-mapping function that aims to help amateur exercise fans train, eat, and sleep in patterns that work with their hormonal cycle.
The start-up says its recommendations differ on the four phases of the menstrual cycle, as it helps to lead to a more efficient training program, lean muscle gain and increased energy levels.
The star athlete was inspired to launch the app by her experiences returning to the TP Elite Championship in 2014 after giving birth to her son, Reggie.
Ennis-Hill realized that with the level of support she had, it was hard to come back to win gold the following year – and she pledged to help all the other women struggling to get back to peak fitness after having a baby. decided.
Janice raised cash in a pre-seed round led by Maki.VC, a Helsinki-based tech venture capital fund. Existing investors Venrex and silent angel investors also participated.
The new cash will be used for a five-month study of everyday athletes and to develop the start-up’s team and technology offering.
Ennis-Hill told TODAY: “I founded Janice to provide women with reliable information and expertise related to their bodies and fitness, which I was fortunate to have access to as a professional athlete.
“This investment will enable us to recruit more engineers, which means we can help more women understand their bodies and hormones in a way we’ve never been taught before.”
Period tracking apps have grown in popularity in recent years, with start-ups like Natural Cycles and Flow Health seeing millions of downloads. The USP of Janice is that it is specifically targeted towards women who exercise regularly and want to train with their menstrual cycle.
Physiologist Dr Emma Ross, who led the app’s new study, said: “Only 6% of sports and exercise science research is done exclusively on women, so there’s a better understanding of what women’s bodies need to know and how to do. There’s a big gender data gap. Get the most out of them.
“This study directly closes that gap and provides game-changing evidence on real women’s hormones that will be immediately usable by women pursuing wellbeing or fitness goals.”
Maki.vc’s Director of Investments, Paulina Martikainen, sits on Janice’s board.
She said: “Our goal is to partner with early founders who are trying to trace scientific advances and customer understanding – and Janice is doing just that. Let a former athlete like Jessica share her own experiences and network with women and women. It’s refreshing to see his passion for understanding come to life through technology.”