September 7, 2023

Bladder Health Startup Jude Secures $4.24M Seed Round for U.S. Expansion

UK-based bladder health startup Jude has closed a $4.24 million seed round to expand into the U.S.

Bladder Health: Jude

Jude is a healthcare and wellness brand with a mission to bring bladder care to the forefront.

2.3 billion globally suffer from bladder issues, whether overactive bladder, leaving or incontinence and Jude is on a mission to help change that.

Jude’s initial focus is on women’s health, as founder Peony Li said she wants to establish the business as a category leader in a space that’s been overlooked and hasn’t had this kind of full-focus attention before.

Jude launched in the UK in January last year and has reached 18,000 customers.

Currently, the business sells bladder strength supplements that don’t require a prescription as they only contain natural ingredients.

Their website claims that the product is proven to reduce leaks by 79%, whilst the Jude e-shop also has a range of pants, liners and pads for purchase.

Additionally, it offers a support hotline with free advice from trained specialists, such as help with retraining problematic bladder habits.

“With the bladder care plan, our specialists will be able to advise minor lifestyle changes, peeing habits and a pelvic floor exercise plan,” Li told TechCrunch.

“We also have a community that does weekly exercise together – we have 4,000 women there.”

Peony Li

Li doesn’t fall into the core target demographic of the Jude app. However, she suffered from recurring urinary tract infections as a teenager and a young adult.

At the time, she found traditional healthcare routes needed to be more helpful, and after researching herself, she found a solution.

Before Jude, Lee worked as Head of Investments at Founders Factory, Head of Operations at Daye, a period care women’s health company and Senior Business Mentor at Innovate UK.

During Covid19, Li also got involved in supplying medical-grade PPE, and this experience brought her in contact with many middle-aged women who had also set up their businesses.

“Although I have suffered from bladder issues, I’m not in the middle-aged demographic, so it’s extremely important we have thousands of these women telling us when our brand is getting too far and when our brand is giving a useful, optimistic outlook for our customers,” she said.

Funding and Future Plans

Jude’s $4.24 seed round is led by Eka VC and Joyance, with follow-on investment from June Angelides at Samos VC and Dr Fiona Pathiraja of Crista Galli Ventures joining as a new investor, alongside a grant from Innovate UK.

Jude’s plans include a digital consultation service that lets customers respond to an online questionnaire submitted to partner e-pharmacies to prescribe appropriate treatment.

Li also has opened the possibility of adding more in-house urologists and doctors as another layer of reassurance for customers.

She wants to grow UK usage 4x over the next 12 months and is confident it can manage a strong start in the U.S.

Sara Keenan

Tech Reporter at POCIT. Following her master's degree in journalism, Sara cultivated a deep passion for writing and driving positive change for Black and Brown individuals across all areas of life. This passion expanded to include the experiences of Black and Brown people in tech thanks to her internship experience as an editorial assistant at a tech startup.