Valentina Milanova, Founder & CEO of Daye

Daye

In this Q&A, you’ll hear from Valentina Milanova, CEO of Daye, a period care and gynae health startup. Milanova shares how the lack of innovation in this space drove her to develop a suite of impactful products, from CBD-infused tampons to an HPV at-home testing kit. She also discusses Daye’s recent FDA approval and upcoming US launch.

Bring us up to date with Daye.

Valentina Milanova: Daye has made exciting progress since launching CBD-infused tampons in 2020. Over 100K subscribers use our sustainable, organic tampons and period care solutions.

In 2022, we raised a €11.5M Series A to launch the world’s first tampon-based STI, infections and HPV screening kit, with plans to expand into the US market.

We also developed a period and pelvic pain clinic to support the 90% of people who experience period pain, as well as a workplace app, Daye for Work.

How have gender gaps in healthcare-driven product development?

VM: I started Daye because I struggled with extremely painful periods – and the glaring gender gaps in medical research and innovation have been the driving force behind Daye’s product development from day one. Shockingly, only 2.5% of UK health funding goes towards women’s reproductive health, despite gynaecological issues affecting half the population.

Our first product, CBD tampons, provides a safer alternative to painkillers for menstrual cramps. We’re now launching an at-home vaginal screening test to make STI, HPV and infection detection more accessible, as many infections currently go undiagnosed due to barriers in the healthcare system.

By creating products rooted in science and female intuition, we enable users to take control of their vaginal, hormonal and menstrual health.

How is Daye working to destigmatize women’s health issues?

VM: We believe sharing personal stories is one of the most powerful ways to break down stigmas around women’s health. I’m always open about my journey with painful periods, misdiagnosis and eventual PCOS diagnosis, which drove me to start this company.

Furthering the discourse, we share educational content through our blog Vitals, making medical research more accessible to our community and encouraging genuine, compassionate conversations about gynae health topics that have been taboo for too long.

Collaborating with others in the femtech space, like adyn and Clue, is also key to normalising these important discussions.

Ultimately, by creating innovative products, fostering an open dialogue and reframing gynaecological issues as integral to human health – not just “female problems” – we’re chipping away at the stigmas that have held back progress for generations.

How do you translate higher adoption into better outcomes?

VM: Higher adoption of Daye’s products directly translates to better health outcomes through the increased access to effective period care and at-home testing.

Our CBD tampons are used by tens of thousands of women, and the diagnostic tampon screening kit will enable more people to proactively check for STI and HPV infections and get appropriate treatment. These are often asymptomatic, so many patients may have them for prolonged periods, in turn affecting their health and fertility.

Partnering with healthcare providers is a key piece for accessibility and innovation. For example, collaborating with Simplyhealth brings our products to their corporate customer base. The data and insights we gather (in a privacy-centric way) support clinical practice and policy reforms to improve outcomes at a population level.

Step by step, we strongly believe adoption fuels awareness, advances medical understanding and creates a positive cycle towards better gynae health for all.

What developments are on the roadmap for the next six months?

VM: Over the next six months, we’ll officially launch our HPV screening kit to make cervical cancer prevention more convenient and expand our digital platform to provide personalised analysis and actionable results.

We’re also laying the groundwork for our US expansion – for which the FDA’s recent approval of our tampons as a medical device was critical – bringing our CBD tampons and new diagnostic product to a wider audience.

Additionally, we’re working on further tampon innovations, including a water-soluble applicator and a hemp fibre tampon for increased sustainability – a top priority as we develop our product pipeline.

Expect to see more educational content and community initiatives that drive the conversation around gynae health forward.

What consumer trends are you most excited about in 2024 & beyond?

VM: I’m incredibly energised by the growing wave of conscious consumerism, especially among younger generations. People increasingly want to support purpose-driven brands that align with their values, whether that’s sustainability, body positivity or health empowerment.

On a larger scale, the rapid rise of femtech, with the global market expected to hit $60B by 2027, showcases the hunger for innovations that address overlooked women’s health needs.

Personalised healthcare is another huge trend that I believe will reshape the medical landscape as we move away from one-size-fits-all approaches.

At Daye, we’re excited to be at the forefront of these movements, creating earth-friendly period products, leveraging data to deliver hyper-personalised solutions and smashing taboos.

We envision a future where gynae health is finally given the attention and resources it deserves. The trends point to a brighter, healthier world ahead, and we can’t wait to help build it.

If you’re interested in having your company featured in our Q&A series, send an email to hello@welltodoglobal.com.

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