Thirty Madison jumps to unicorn status as it eyes expansion, payer partnerships

Four years after launching, fast-growing digital health company Thirty Madison has vaulted to unicorn status.

The New York City-based startup, which offers direct-to-consumer telehealth visits and online prescriptions for drugs for hair loss, migraines and acid reflux, banked $140 million in a Series C round that now values the company at $1 billion, the company announced Wednesday.

New investor HealthQuest Capital led the round with participation from other new investors Mousse Partners and Bracket Capital, along with existing investors Polaris Partners, Johnson & Johnson Innovation - JJDC, Inc., Northzone, Greycroft, and others. Thirty Madison has raised a total of $210 million to date.

On reaching "unicorn" status, Thirty Madison co-founder Steven Gutentag said the financial milestone reflected the need for the startup's consumer-focused offerings in the market.

"Especially after a year like 2020, it became clear that there are deep fractures within the healthcare system. To address deep issues in healthcare it's not going to be an iterative change but it's going to require fundamentally new approaches like ours," he told Fierce Healthcare.

He added, "We're early and just getting started. When we went out to fundraise, our success, given not only the traction and evidence that we have delivered on our care model, also shows how much room there is for us to drive improvements in patient experiences and outcomes for a broad set of chronic conditions."

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Gutentag and Demetri Karagas launched their first product, Keeps, a brand focused on helping men with male pattern baldness, in 2018.

After establishing the platform and proving the concept, they went on in 2019 to launch Cove, a product focused on helping migraine sufferers, and finally, Evens, which is focused on gastrointestinal health support and acid reflux. The platform has since expanded to include Picnic for allergies.

 "We're building a company where every individual with a chronic condition can turn to us for high-impact specialty care that significantly improves the way they live their life every single day," Gutentag said.

The startup plans to use the fresh capital to expand into new conditions, drive outcomes at scale, and explore employer and payer partnerships to reach more patients, company executives said.

The company is aiming to bring its care model to as many patients as possible, Gutentag said.

"We want to have at least one offering over the next few years that is relevant to every person in the country. We're looking at large areas that impact millions of people, so heart disease, diabetes, dermatology and sleep and mental health," he said.

The direct-to-consumer telehealth market is becoming increasingly competitive with players including Hims & Hers and Ro. But Gutentag said Thirty Madison's care model is unique in that it brings together specialist-level telehealth visits and digital chronic condition management with a focus on providing a consumer-centric experience.

"We can apply that model to both low acuity conditions like hair loss and high acuity conditions like migraines. It's not just about getting treatment or a prescription delivered, it's a new way to manage that condition end to end and drive better outcomes and experience," he said.

He added, "We provide the longitudinal care experience of a Livongo with the consumer-centric focus of a Hims."

By focusing on chronic conditions like migraines and gastrointestinal issues, Thirty Madison is helping to fill gaps in care and improve outcomes, he said.

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About 40 million Americans experience migraines but there is a shortage of headache specialists across the country. Nearly half of the patients who use the company's Cove brand don’t have a single headache specialist in their county, the company reported.

"The existing system has failed them and they don’t have options to get specialist level care,
 Gutentag said.

The Cove migraine program connects patients to a care team that works with them on treatment options. That program has seen 77% of its patients report an improvement in migraine severity, and 79% of Cove patients saw a reduction in ER visits.

In 2020, Thirty Madison tripled its revenue, and the company now serves hundreds of thousands of patients across its offerings. The company's headcount also more than tripled in the past 14 months, growing from 50 employees to 180.

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In April, former Eli Lilly and Sanofi executive Michelle Carnahan jumped on board as president at the startup. A number of other healthcare veterans have joined the senior ranks at Thirty Madison, including former Castlight Health chief operating and officer and long-time New York-Presbyterian executive Helen Kotchoubey, who joined as head of expansion, Walgreens veteran Jason Rubin who came on board as vice president of pharmacy and fulfillment and Joanne Chen, now vice president of data and formerly of Truveris

Other senior hires include former Tempest COO Julia Bernstein and Jose Aponte who led product innovation at Beacon Health. 

"At HealthQuest, we look to identify transformative companies that are meaningfully improving patient outcomes. Thirty Madison has an incredible track record of creating innovative, specialist-level patient experiences and is disrupting the way care is delivered," said Randy Scott, partner at HealthQuest Capital in a statement.

 "We're very impressed with the leadership team's expertise in creating a consumer-centric platform, and are excited about collaborating with them to deepen the pharma and enterprise verticals of the business and reach even more patients across numerous chronic conditions," Scott said.

Scott will join Jason Stoffer, partner at Maveron, and Amy Schulman, managing partner at Polaris Partners, as a member of Thirty Madison's Board of Directors.