Plume, a virtual transgender healthcare provider, picked up $24 million in fresh funding to help fuel its nationwide expansion.
The series was led by Transformation Capital with participation from General Catalyst and Town Hall Ventures. The influx of cash will be used to help the startup move into virtual primary care as well as to support payer partnerships, the company said in a press release.
The series B investment comes about a year and half after the company announced a $14 million series A round. The digital health company launched in 2019 and was built to ease the barriers to care transgender patients face.
"With today's announcement, we are on track to reach our goal of increasing access to high-quality, gender-affirming care to patients across the U.S. in both urban areas and coverage deserts,” Jerrica Kirkley, M.D., Plume's co-founder and chief medical officer, said in the press release. “Knowing the hurdles trans Americans face when accessing care, I'm encouraged to reach this benchmark and I look forward to Plume's growth in the future.”
Generation Z identifies as trans at a much higher rate than past generations. The needs of trans individuals are distinct from the broader LGBQ+ population, Plume argues. Nearly a third of trans people avoid healthcare over fears of discrimination, and more than 60% of trans people in urban areas have to get medications outside the clinical system, the company’s press release said.
"Since launching in 2019, Plume has strived to bring the trans community the deeply personalized health care they deserve," said Matthew Wetschler, M.D., Plume's co-founder and CEO, in the press release. "Amidst growing anti-trans rhetoric nationwide, Plume's model offers unmatched access to health care for trans Americans."
"Our firm has deep empathy and compassion for underserved communities—we believe the trans community deserves a better, more accessible care experience that is unfortunately not available to many in our health care system today,” said Jenna Ciotti, vice president at Transformation Capital. “Plume is positioned to be a medical home for this important and growing community.”
Members of Plume do not need to be insured and pay $99 a month for 24/7 access to care, including consultations, lab testing, support groups, medical letters of support for surgery and name and gender marker changes as well as home delivery of medications. Plume was serving 41 states as of May 2022 and claims to be the largest provider of trans care. Its ongoing expansion has continued despite continued political efforts to restrict or eliminate access to gender-affirming care.