Startups

Erectile pharmacy app Ro launches telehealth service for women

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Image Credits: Rory

Six months ago, Roman, the cloud pharmacy for erectile dysfunction, dropped the “man” to become “Ro.” At the same time, the company raised a monstrous Series A funding round of $88 million and unveiled Zero, a product meant to help people quit smoking, a root cause of ED.

Now, Ro is addressing a different demographic. Today, it announces Rory, a line of products for menopausal women. In total, Rory offers six products treating four conditions, with prices starting at $13 per month. Prescription medication and supplements for hot flashes, over-the-counter treatments for insomnia, prescription vaginal estrogen cream and an all-natural water-based lubricant for vaginal dryness and Latisse, which helps grow eyelashes, are available for purchase and direct-to-consumer delivery.

All of these conditions, including hair loss and insomnia, can be associated with menopause, or the process, typically at midlife, in which a woman stops menstruating.

To use Rory, which launches in 47 states today, women must complete an online doctor’s visit before they can be prescribed a personalized treatment plan. Rory is also launching a Facebook group and an online community, called Roar, for menopausal women to provide support to one another and to discuss topics from sex positions that help with vaginal dryness to how to sleep better at night.

“We aren’t used to talking about issues like vaginal dryness,” Rory co-founder Rachel Blank told TechCrunch. “Right now, we have [millions] of women experiencing menopause. They are walking around and frankly, their vagina hurts and they are uncomfortable. Really, what we are building at Rory is a lot of the educational content around this to let women know they have choices and they can take control during this phase of life where they feel like their bodies are rebelling against them.”

Rory’s leadership team. From left to right: Melynda Barnes, Rachel Blank and Ro co-founder and CEO Zachariah Reitano.

Unsurprisingly, the Ro founders are all male. In order to launch Rory, the trio — Rob Schutz, Saman Rahmanian and Zachariah Reitano — had to bring on talent knowledgeable of women’s health. Rachel Blank, a former investor at General Catalyst, an investor in Ro, seemed like a natural choice. Blank joined Ro full-time in the fall after learning about the company’s long-term vision to create personalized healthcare for everyone. General Catalyst, for its part, had been an investor in Ro since its August 2017 seed round.

“I was watching their pitch and having had that experience myself and listening to the founders of Ro talk about how much of a difference this platform could make in the lives of men with stigmatized conditions, it really resonated with me that this could really be a powerful tool for women as well,” Blank said.

Blank herself was diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome, a hormonal disorder that can cause the development of a number of cysts in the ovaries, at 21 years old. She is joined by Rory clinical director Melynda Barnes, a surgeon and otolaryngologist, and Ro co-founder and chief executive officer Zachariah Reitano, who oversees Ro’s growing portfolio of spin-out brands.

Ro has raised just over $90 million in venture capital funding to date, hitting a valuation of $154 million with its Series A, according to PitchBook. Its investors include Initialized Capital, Box Group and Slow Ventures, as well as angels like Y Combinator partner Aaron Harris, Benchmark’s Scott Belsky and the chief executives of Casper, Code Academy and Pill Pack.

Roman is a cloud pharmacy for erectile dysfunction

 

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