Business

Breast Pump Maker Moxxly Quietly Shuts Down

Moxxly, which sold silent, wearable breast pumps, shuttered its doors in May after being acquired by Medela, a leading breast pump maker, in 2017. 

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The company’s flagship product, Moxxly Flow, was a breast pump accessory for hands-free pumping that fit under some bras. 

Upon arriving at the company’s website, a statement reads as follows:

“Ta ta! We truly appreciate your support. After 5 years of designing boss products for women, the Moxxly journey has come to an end. If you‘ve already purchased a Flow and need help, please see our FAQs, watch our videos, or email support@moxxly.com.”

Both Medela, and Moxxly’s CEO Cara Delzer did not comment on the closure when contacted by Crunchbase News multiple times. It is unclear whether Moxxly technology has been scooped up by Medela, or scrapped altogether.  

That said, in an October 2017 interview with venture capital firm Designer Fund, Delzer acknowledged some of the specific challenges that accompany designing smart hardware. In the article, she spoke of wait time with production, manufacturing delays, FDA approval, and the capital demands.

“You’re spending a lot of money on R&D, design, manufacturing, and tools that cost tens of thousands of dollars — all before you can take money from customers,” Delzer told the Designer Fund back then.

Moxxly stopped sales on May 31, 2019, according to its website. Its Flow product was sold for $80, some reports said.

One customer account, which has since been removed from the company’s website but was found on Romper.com, stated that “I love that it works with my own bra. I’m active enough that I wear sports bras all the time, and I didn’t want to change into a pumping bra to go hands free. Moxxly Flow makes complete sense. It’s an efficient system for women who are on the go.”

While Moxxly’s funding amount is unclear, previous investors include Designer Fund, 79 Studios and Randi Zuckberg. 

A recently-funded startup in the wearable breast pump space is London’s Elvie, which raised $43 million in April. As TechCrunch’s Kate Clark reported, “Elvie’s long-term plan is to develop products supportive of women at every stage in her life, whether that be pre-natal, menopausal or otherwise, and to become a one-stop shop for women’s health.” Other than a wearable breast pump, the company has also created a Kegel trainer. 

Elvie has $53.8 million in funding to date, according to its Crunchbase profile

“While it’s discouraging to see Moxxly cease operations, it reminds us how important it is to focus our efforts on developing cutting edge products that improve the pumping experience,” said Elvie’s co-founder and CEO Tania Boler, in a statement provided to Crunchbase News. She added that “the future is wearables.”

Moxxly wasn’t alone in its struggles as a smaller company trying to innovate within the breast bump market. As first reported by CNBC, breast pump upstart Naya Health shut down after struggling to raise funds. 

Redwood City-based Naya Health sent out an e-mail to all users in January. 

“We have been working behind the scenes to either find a way to raise enough capital to face the increase in manufacturing costs or find the company a new home where our technology could benefit from more resources,” the email read.

One story that covered Moxxly in its early days was titled “Silicon Valley reinvents the breast pump.” The details are worth a read. Less than two years later, that same startup has ended operations. 

It’s never fun to write about a startup like this one shutting down (at least not for me), but it’s worth covering because it remind us all of a very normal but under-reported fact of the startup life cycle: alongside reinvention comes risk. And alongside risk comes the chance to fail, and maybe one day, emerge stronger. 

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

 

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