Ro banks $200M funding round to expand into remote patient monitoring

Telehealth company Ro started out three years ago selling erectile dysfunction medication and hair loss supplements to men.

The company has since built out a telehealth company with three online health clinics, and now it wants to expand into remote monitoring for chronic conditions.

Ro has scored a $200 million series C funding round led by existing investor General Catalyst and with significant participation from investors FirstMark Capital, Torch, SignalFire, TQ Ventures, Initialized Capital, 3L and BoxGroup.

First-time investor The Chernin Group also participated.

The startup has raised a total of $376 million since its founding in 2017.

Ro will use the newly raised capital to build out technology to address healthcare access and affordability challenges faced by patients, the company said.

Ro plans to offer remote patient monitoring with integrated devices for chronic disease management, urgent care and at-home testing on its platform in the near future. The company also plans to double the size of its engineering team.

RELATED: Ro, Ribbon Health team up to bridge the gap between telehealth and in-person care

Ro operates three online health clinics—Roman for men, Rory for women and Zero for addiction treatment—and the company has seen tremendous growth across all its services during the COVID-19 pandemic, Zachariah Reitano, co-founder and CEO of Ro, told Fierce Healthcare last month.

Between all three clinics, Ro now treats nearly 20 conditions including sexual health, weight loss, dermatology and allergies.

The company also has a network of pharmacies for prescription and home delivery. During the pandemic, the company expedited the launch of Ro Pharmacy, an online mail-order pharmacy that offers 500 of the most common medications for $5 per month.

Ro has facilitated more than 5 million digital healthcare visits for patients in nearly every county in the U.S., including 98% of primary care deserts, according to the company.

"Every single person deserves high-quality, affordable healthcare. At Ro, we believe the only way to do this is by putting patients at the center of their care and building technology to empower providers to do what they do best—help people," Reitano said in a statement.

"This new investment will further our mission to become every patient’s first call. We’ll continue to invest in our vertically-integrated healthcare ecosystem, from our Collaborative Care Center to our national pharmacy operating system. This is just the beginning of Ro’s patient-centered healthcare platform," he said.

"Telehealth companies like Ro are using technology to address long-standing healthcare disparities that have been exacerbated by COVID-19," said Joycelyn Elders, M.D., Ro's medical adviser and former U.S. surgeon general, in a statement.

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"By empowering providers to leverage their skills as efficiently and effectively as possible, Ro delivers affordable, high-quality care regardless of a patient’s location, insurance status, or physical access to physicians and pharmacies," Elders said.

The startup has continued to expand its healthcare services in the past year.

In December, Ro launched a prescription weight management product on its platform through a partnership with biotechnology company Gelesis. ​​

In June, the company announced a partnership with Ribbon Health to enable telehealth patients to have a more convenient way to access in-person care by leveraging Ribbon's nationwide directory of healthcare providers.

During the pandemic, Ro also rolled out a nationwide COVID-19 telehealth screening and consultation service.

RELATED: Amwell lands close to $200M in funding to keep up with demand for telehealth

Telehealth companies are having a big moment as the COVID-19 pandemic drove patients to seek virtual care to avoid stepping foot in a doctor's office.

Investors poured $1.7 billion into the telehealth sector in the first half of 2020, leading financing activity for the first half of 2020's record $6.3 billion in digital health funding, according to a recent Mercom Capital Group report.

Telehealth company Amwell scored $194 million in a series C funding round in May, and competitor Doctor on Demand banked $75 million in series D financing led by General Atlantic.

Tyto Care, which provides an at-home medical exam and telehealth device kit, raised $50 million in its latest funding round in April.

San Francisco-based Carbon Health, a technology-enabled primary care provider that blends in-person and virtual care services, also recently landed $28 million in funding.