Clue, the leading period-tracking app, has gained the trust of 11 million people with cycles worldwide. With $47.8 million raised from 22 investors, Ida Tin — co-founder and chairwoman of Clue — has rocket fueled the company to become a leading innovator in femtech, whilst staying true to Clue’s core values: privacy, accessibility, and trust. Along the way, Clue has made scientific research on the female body accessible, and is trusted by over 4,5 million readers worldwide.
During our conversation with Ida Tin, you’ll learn about her unwavering commitment to privacy, how the Clue Plus membership created independence, and why it matters to grow a company from a values-driven approach.
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Meet Ida Tin — the firestarter behind the Clue period-tracking app. For this episode of Memberful Design, Harald Dunnink sat down with Ida in the Beats studio in Berlin. Photo by Joca van der Horst →
Ida Tin was born in Denmark, lives in Berlin, and with the nature of a true firestarter, she’s the one who coined the term femtech.Femtech, or using tech to understand and improve the unique cycles of women and people who menstruate, can help many to gain understanding and make informed decisions about their bodies. It’s another way of understanding the cycle of nature, allowing us to live in harmony with it.Femtech is not just a tool for self-improvement, it’s also a means of promoting gender equality. It helps to bridge the gap in healthcare and tech that has traditionally marginalized half the worlds’ population. Shifting focus to those who are often overlooked lets us evolve as individuals and improve as a society.Find out more in this interview with Ida for Web Summit. Photo by Jan Zappner
After circling the globe on motorcycles with her dad and their travel company, Ida Tin set out on a different journey and crossed the borders of taboos. Driven by frustration, she set out to design a science-based tool for people to take charge of their reproductive health. In this article she shares what happens when you track your cycle: the journey of a single data point. Illustration by Emma Günther →
According to Crunchbase, Clue has raised a total of $47.8M in funding over 9 rounds. Their latest funding was raised on Dec 16, 2021. Clue is funded by 22 investors. Balderton Capital and Future Positive Capital are the most recent investors. Illustrations by Marta Pucci and B.J. Scheckenbach →
Clue’s leadership team jotted down their principles quickly after launching. They’re accessible to users and help keep Clue accountable.
1) Clue is the product, and our users are our customers. This means that we do not want to build a business model that relies on sharing our users’ attention or personal data with third parties.
2) Clue aims to be affordable to all, without compromising our integrity. This means that we will price our services such that as many people as possible can use Clue, while still making enough money so that we do not resort to selling data.
3) We want to sustain the company so that we can improve people’s lives. This means that the main motivation for making revenue is to build a sustainable company, both financially and in other dimensions, such as trustworthiness. It also means that we do not optimize for short-term financial gain at the expense of our long-term commitment to helping our users live better lives.
4) We want to sustain the company so that we can push menstrual and reproductive health forward. This means that we have an ambition to improve the state of menstrual and reproductive health around the world—not only for Clue users.” →
Design is a crucial part of the Clue experience, to make sure tracking is intuitive and information is clearly presented. In this article at Creative Review, Ida Tin and senior art director Marta Pucci share how design helped them to build an inclusive period-tracking app. They dive into what makes for a successful femtech app, and how design and creativity has helped them create a safe space for intimate data →
Find the policy here →
One of Clue’s investors, Bo Ilsoe, a partner at NGP Capital in Palo Alto, California, noted that Clue is an unusual company. From the outset, the founders instilled a very mission-driven culture and an intentional leadership style. Something, he shared, that is typically added later in a company’s life cycle. Photo by Rachel Gimbert →
According to this explainer, the term Legacy Code “usually refers to an application source code that has reached or crossed an end of the support cycle. Often, this may also imply that parts or whole of the application's supported technology stack are either too complex, outdated, or irrelevant to maintain when compared with modern platforms.” Illustration by Marta Pucci. Read more here →
Clue received clearance from the Food and Drug Administration for a digital birth control function, which can help users prevent pregnancy based only on the start date of a user’s period. Read more at The Verge. Illustration by Marta Pucci →
Clue is regulated under German and European Law, meaning that people under 16 have to have parental consent to use the app. When used for contraception, it’s only available for those 18 and older. The problem is: menstruation can start much earlier. For a lot of young women, it’s not easy to ask for parental consent. Regulation makes it harder, but Ida believes that technology should be regulated.
This article in The New Yorker describes why more and more girls are hitting puberty earlier. A pandemic-era rise in early puberty may help physicians to better understand its causes. Illustration by Mikyung Lee. Read more here →
Roe versus Wade was a 1973 landmark decision by the US Supreme Court that ruled that a state law that banned abortion was unconstitutional. After 50 years, as of June 2022, Roe vs Wade was overturned, making abortion at risk of being severely limited or prohibited in 26 states. Photo by Angela Major. As the US is Clue’s single largest market, read how deeply did Roe vs Wade affect the team and the community →
At Memberful Design, Julie Donders was the one who tipped us about Ida Tin. As the guest ambassador, Julie finds impactful initiatives and inspiring organizers we can collectively learn from. Got a suggestion? She'd love to hear from you. As the former Program Director at TNW, Julie welcomed hundreds of founders, firestarters, and cultural leaders to the stage, from memberful companies like Strava to Headspace →
How you make your money defines you. A crucial insight from Ida. With Clue there’s no need to sell data, as their business model is based on memberships, not ads. Members make the product possible. Photo by Gina Mei →
Ida Tin is hopeful to see more entrepreneurs shifting their focus from maximizing profit to making social impact. As an entrepreneur, she sees it as her responsibility to break the monopolization of power and health. Clue should work for everyone and shouldn’t be about maxing out the system.
A Kaospilot is a graduate of three year Enterprising Leadership Program at the Kaospilot school in Aarhus, Denmark. The educational program is designed for results-driven changemakers, entrepreneurs, and leaders. Ida Tin graduated in 2004. Photo by Claire McWeeney →
"Maybe they just forgot," Ida Tin said to Business Insider of Apple's decision to release a health tracking app without any period tracking. However, she says that after Apple realized its mistake, it immediately set about trying to make it right. She shares that Clue worked with Apple to help it develop its own period tracking software, essentially creating a competitor to her own app. In the image above you see Apple’s Craig Federighi announced Apple Health in June 2014. Photo by Justin Sullivan. Read more at Vox →
In a recent podcast episode of Women Authors of Achievement, the Chief Product Officer at Clue, Rhiannon White, shares her captivating journey in politics, her path into product and the future of FemTech →
To round the episode off, Ida reveals her gratitude for the work of Anaïs Nin, the French-born American diarist, essayist, novelist, and writer of short stories and erotica. Ida especially likes her novel The Four-Chambered Heart, from which this wonderful quote originates: "I must be a mermaid, I have no fear of depth and a great fear of shallow living" →