FitTech Insider

Are women just a niche market, Hélène Guillaume Pabis?

From the very beginning, the fitness and nutrition industries have been male-dominated by default. This is what Hélène Guillaume Pabis is set to change with her company Wild AI, revolutionizing the market en passant.

With their fitness and nutrition app already counting 19 thousand members, Hélène wants to serve women in every kind of life stage - whether they are menstruating or heading into menopause. Beyond that, the founder plans to revolutionize the market through offering the female-focused AI technology to other businesses.

„I've always thought it wasn't cool to be a girl and then a woman“, Hélène says. But she was constantly confronted with the assumption that female bodies are malfunctioning. „So I thought I need to start creating a company to understand why women are having this body and to show that it’s not a bug, it’s a feature.“

Hélène Guillaume@ FitTech Summit V: Tech or Die!

On November 8-9 2021, the FitTech Summit Episode V is going live with a fully digital edition, with two days full on insights devoted to the future of fitness and health in the post-pandemic world. We are pleased that Hélène will be part of this event. Get a free ticket now!

What kind of problems or needs are you basically solving with your product right now?
We did a lot of customer interviews to understand the issues women are facing when it comes to training and nutrition and to find out what they really want inside. They were struggling to find the right information - it all seemed really varied and not adapted to themselves. So we decided to close this gap by introducing the concept of training and eating with the female physiology - and we really hit the spot. With our Wild AI app, we are providing information about the needs of your body in different phases of your menstrual cycle, or depending on your symptoms if you do not menstruate, in terms of fitness, nutrition, and recovery.

Did you have any assumptions about your potential customers at the beginning of your journey and how did those evolve with time?
When we first introduced the concept of female physiology we didn’t know if this is something that only resonates with female athletes. But after the interviews, we realized that women around all borders in all kinds of life stages are having these issues and are searching for a solution. We didn’t have numbers at this time, so we were confronted with a lot of skepticism. People were saying it’s such a niche market and that we actually don’t have a business. But how can women be a niche market? Our success speaks for itself: After six months we have 46 percent retention, so every second woman is still using our app actively.

What else did you learn about your target group?

We learned that, if you want to serve women, you can’t serve women of a certain type of life stage. As a woman, you're literally changing all the time, either by your age, your physiology, or by choice: taking a contraceptive, having a baby, menstruating, getting into menopause. We realized we need to be able to adapt to that constant change. It’s an ambitious project and that’s also why it hasn’t been done yet. From the medical world's point of view, it’s too complex because many things have not yet been tested on women of these different life stages. This is a big issue. So we decided to take the lead and do the research by ourselves.

In an article with you said, you are aiming to address the lack of data in female physiology and to bridge the gender gap on data to become the Bloomberg of female data. How do you want to achieve this?
We are collecting the data of the women on a daily basis, that they are manually put in or through a connected gadget. We collect this data and provide information back to them with a female lens. If you are wearing an extra gadget that measures your body temperature and it goes up, the interpretation would be, you are going to get sick - true, if you were a man. As a woman, this can mean you are probably ovulating. What this means is, the technology of today is actually MenTech. Women, on the other hand, are given false information. So with our technology of a female reading, we want to transform MenTech to MenTech plus FemTech, so Tech.

Which is the next feature you are planning for your product?
The next big thing is the integration of other life stages. Today we are covering women who menstruate, women who use any type of birth control as well as women in perimenopause and menopause. Later on, we want to cover women who have typical conditions like endometriosis, pregnancy, post-pregnancy, and so on.

App Wild.AI: "The next big thing is the integration of other life stages." (@Wild.AI)

How do I use your product? And what is the conclusion of the data that you gather?
You open the app on a daily basis and check-in: how you slept, how stressed you are, how eager you are to train, your symptoms. If you have a gadget we collect also your external data like resting heart rate or your activities. With this data, we create a picture of you today and give you recommendations for your training and nutrition depending on your hormone cycle. If you are in the first half of your menstrual cycle, we might recommend you to do a high-intensity training, if you are ovulating your immune system is lower and we would suggest you to be aware of that. For women it’s also really important to fuel correctly: If you have your period you need iron, around your ovulation you need fats, and after ovulation you have to time your protein intake properly. By understanding how your body functions, you can provide it the right things. By understanding how your body functions, you can provide it with what it needs, when it needs it, and take the most out of it. Transforming your female physiology into your advantage.

Hélène and the potential of the technology of company
To make a product adapted to all kinds of women possible, Wild AI has different scientific arms such as research or data infrastructure. Together with leading scientists, they developed an AI that uses data to point out likely symptoms to women in advance and show them ways to treat them.

Beyond supporting their consumers through their app, on a B2B side Wild AI is looking to serve other companies in the market with their technology. „Any product or device could have access to our API to finally integrate the female physiology“, says Hélène Guillaume. Her „female lens“ has great potential for the market to increase their consumers by addressing the needs of everyone - women and men.

Where is your target market heading – and how do you know?

The interest is rising, there’s a 60 billion market estimated by 2027. All these movements coming up, all these start-ups that are emerging, and all these women who are starting to express their desire to change the solutions that are offered today. Investors starting to understand this is not a niche market and that it is not a huge thing to serve women. It’s a cash machine. Women have been underserved forever, they are looking for solutions and they are willing to spend money for that.

What kind of partnerships are you currently looking for?

We are looking forward to work with sports companies. Wild.AI integrates with Oura Ring, enabling women who use the ring to see their data read with a female lens. Recently we are working with Adidas as an educational partner: we provide content around how you can train around your menstrual cycle. On a B2B side, we look to integrate the API that is interesting in a revenue perspective too.

Further, we look to work with brands that would like to increase awareness, not only around the period but around the whole menstrual cycle and the different needs that women have. We also partner with universities for research, where we act as a data-gathering platform. And more interesting from a revenue perspective is acting as an API.

Let’s talk about you. Name three things you think you and your company have in common.
Our company is called Wild AI. AI stands for data, data-driven, and structure. I’m a data scientist by training. I think if you understand the rules and how things function you can reach new levels.
Wild is a word I just absolutely love and identify with. In combination it means, if you have a strong base you then can really go beyond.
We both want to make things change.

What will characterize your market in five years?
The market in five years will be matured, it won’t be a surprise anymore. Now I still get asked, if there is actually a revenue opportunity. Hopefully, in five years we are not in this educational stage anymore and people understand the value of the product. We all come from the female reproductive system. So that men will also see it as a part of their mission. Because I think we are not there yet.