The Pill Club closes $42M to fuel growth across all 50 states by year-end

The Pill Club has enjoyed several months of profitability and recently launched dermatology and period care services in limited markets. (The Pill Club)

Birth control delivery startup The Pill Club has closed $41.9 million in new investments as it looks to expand its prescription services to all 50 U.S. states before the end of the year.

Founded in 2016, the startup recently notched the 47th state in its tally and touted a first-ever $100 million run rate during 2020. Since naming Uber Eats veteran Liz Meyerdirk as its new CEO in January, the company has also reached profitability for multiple months and launched an acne-focused dermatology prescription service for members living in California.

Now, with the series B extension in hand, Meyerdirk said the startup is looking to further flesh out its women’s health services, add new hires and cultivate the in-house talent of its nearly 350-person team.

“When I joined the team six months ago, it was clear to me that … what we were doing was simplifying a daily need—access to a basic right in life—and in doing so, empowering women,” Meyerdirk said in a blog post announcing the raise. “We were sitting on an even bigger opportunity to build a ‘by women, for women’ digital health business that addressed the full primary care spectrum. The opportunity was massive and I was eager to get to work.”

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The Pill Club’s latest funding was led by Base 10 and included prior backers ACME, GV, Shasta Ventures and VMG as well as new investors like Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, Honey CEO and co-founder George Ruan and iGlobe. The add-on raise follows a $51 million series B headed by VMG that was announced back in 2019.

The Pill Club’s medication fulfillment service delivers more than 120 brands of FDA-approved birth control and can ship medications across all 50 states.

Prescriptions are written virtually using online questionnaires and text or video consultations. Existing prescriptions can also be transferred to the Pill Club’s pharmacy services from the member’s current pharmacy.

The startup delivers its products—such as birth control pills, emergency contraception and non-hormonal barrier contraceptives—to members’ homes in discreet packaging. Shipping is free of charge, and automatic refills are available in states where they are permitted. Members with insurance are generally only required to provide copayments, and out-of-pocket subscriptions begin at $9 per package.

Outside of birth control, the Pill Club is also delivering the aforementioned dermatology as well as a period care pilot currently running in 16 states. The Pill Club told Fierce Healthcare that both of these areas were the most frequent care services requested by members, and that the company's ability to offer video visits in 11 states "provides a launch point for other kinds of clinical services that are best suited to a video evaluation." 

“Better, more accessible care shouldn’t be a luxury reserved for people who can pay out of pocket or in states of emergency,” Meyerdirk wrote in the blog post. “It should be the norm—for all of women’s healthcare. I’m proud of the strides we’ve made in service of this vision and deeply motivated by the many opportunities ahead to accelerate real change in this space.”

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Meyerdirk’s company is one of several consumer-friendly services that are combining deliveries with virtual consultation services.

A clear parallel to The Pill Club is fellow women’s health startup Nurx. Best known for mail-order birth control, the company also has its sights set on other at-home health services.

Nurx recently launched a dermatology line for acne, rosacea and anti-aging treatments alongside sexually transmitted infection diagnostic testing and preexposure prophylaxis for HIV prevention. The San Francisco-based company closed its own funding round last summer and projected profitability for 2021.

Also among the bigger names in the space are Hims & Hers and Ro. Each of these well-funded brands got their start in providing sensitive men’s health products through the mail but have since launched lines for women’s health treatments and broader telehealth services like mental health counseling and primary care.