Clue: An app tapping into a global need

Editor’s note: This article was condensed from the original Øresund Startups post.

Tackling a global issue is monumental task. It also opens up a global market and presents opportunities for really rewarding results. For Ida Tin, founder and CEO of Clue, working to change the way the world manages family planning, the launch of the fertility tracking app into the Danish market was another step towards realising that change. Chatting with Ida last week, we got some feedback on the launch, and her insights into how achieve success in entrepreneurship.

The App

The launch itself went very well for the team, and the results speak for themselves. In Denmark Clue reached #1 in the free health apps category, is now sitting steady at #2, and ranked #4 overall. The Danish launch was in part, a test of how to launch in a new market. Interestingly, Ida noted that there wasn’t any particular advantage to launching in her home country market, although it was a more straightforward process to translate the app and the website.

“We did a blueprint on how we would go into a new market, Denmark was our first test-run and it went very well. It’s nice to know that we can do that, and do it again,”  says Ida Tin

The Issue

The Clue app is a technological solution to family planning – a universal issue that hasn’t been addressed on any significant level for 50 years when the Pill came along.

"It’s such a big theme, for women, for 40 years of their lives, and their men. For everyone on this planet. It’s a very fundamental thing to be in charge of your reproductive health. Surprisingly little innovation has been made in this space, and I think the time is ripe for a high tech solution, and data-centred solution,” says Tin.

“Many women, in all parts of the world, don’t have that fundamental understanding of what’s going on with their bodies….It’s nice to know what’s going on. It makes you able to take better care for your health, and make life decisions around your reproductive health. I think there is a fantastic possibility now for women across the planet to have access to family planning through phones … we want to ‘data-fy’ the field of fertility.”

From what Ida and her team have picked up on very quickly, is that the app works. Even before making local adaptations, it reaches markets across the globe. It’s something that people appreciate.

Having recently raised an additional €500,000 Clue is set to continue working on hardware, expand the team, and take the app into more new markets. There is a question of how to expand – a global solution, or local adaptation?

“One thing that has been surprising is how well the app translates culturally. We designed it for a western market but it seems to be kind of accepted, also in Saudi Arabia, and Kenya, all kinds of places. I’m sure that we could localise and make it even better say, for the Chinese market, but we can see there is a real need. We have users from over 180 countries in the world. We are just scratching the surface of the need to fulfil, the knowledge needed.”

Women in Entrepreneurship

For anyone who has been to a startup or tech event in the region, or even read about who’s who and doing what, it’s impossible not to notice a gender issue. On the topic of why we see so few female entrepreneurs in this area, Ida explains, “There isn’t one simple answer. It’s harder for women to raise capital – statistically speaking – and get going with funds. It’s partly cultural. Is it considered something more male to start this kind of company? Women run hairdressers and restaurants, it’s just different types of companies. The culture is slow to change. And we need a lot of role models to change that.”

So why does this happen, and what do we do about it?

“It starts early in school, where we predict boys are better at maths and the STEM subjects, and that has to change, because we need more female software engineers to start these types of companies. I think this is a huge untapped potential,” says Tin.

On being a role model Ida spoke about being visible in society, as a step towards changing perceptions and culture. “I almost feel that that’s also a responsibility to be a role model. I take that seriously, it’s important, it’s not just about me as a person, but somebody has to fill out that function in society. And if I can do that now, for a while, then I think that’s my responsibility to do that”

The theme of untapped potential is strong, the value of different views, giving dimension to ideas.

“Women, they can see different market needs,” says Tin. "There are lots of things to do in the world, ideas to come up with, products to develop which are targeting women, or targeting men too, in a different way.”

But the simple solution:

“You can ask for more subsidies, programs, but at the end of the day you just have to have the courage, you just have to do it, and that’s you know, there is really no excuse for not doing it. I think women just need to start doing it.”

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This article is in collaboration with Øresund Startups, originally by Kristina Persson. Øresund Startups is a news site focusing on startups in Copenhagen and the other cities around the Øresund strait; Malmö, Helsingborg and Lund. It was initiated by Karsten Deppert and covers news about startups and events from the startup scene. You can follow them at @Oresundstartups.

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