Ro clinches $500M series D to scale telehealth, online pharmacy, in-home care services

three male co-founders of telehealth company Ro
Telehealth company Ro banked $500 million in a series D round. Pictured here are founders (from left) Rob Schutz, Zachariah Reitano and Saman Rahmanian. (Ro)

Digital health company Ro has raised half a billion dollars to scale up its platform that includes online pharmacy services, telehealth and in-home care.

The $500 million series D round was led by existing investors General Catalyst, FirstMark Capital and TQ Ventures with significant participation from existing investors SignalFire, Torch and BoxGroup. New investors Altimeter, Baupost, Dragoneer, Shawspring, Radcliff and 776 also joined the series D round.

The company has raised $876 million since its founding in 2017. 

The funding round values New York City-based Ro at $5 billion, according to people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified because the matter is private, Bloomberg reported.
 
"The current healthcare system is working beautifully for insurance companies, but terribly for patients; to pretend otherwise is absolutely ridiculous. It’s time to give patients power," said Zachariah Reitano, co-founder and CEO of Ro, in a statement.

RELATED: Digital health startup Ro expands into home-based care with Workpath acquisition

"Ro is the only company to combine a nationwide telemedicine, pharmacy distribution, and in-home care network. Through this vertically integrated platform, we're making high-quality care available when and where patients need it, with no insurance required so patients are the ones in control. We’re powering a patient revolution, and we’re just getting started," Reitano said.

The startup will use the newly raised capital to strengthen its vertically integrated primary care platform. Ro plans to expand its pharmacy distribution network, continue to enhance its proprietary electronic medical record—called the Ro collaborative care center—build new capabilities such as remote patient monitoring with integrated devices, and broaden into additional treatment areas that leverage its diagnostic capabilities, the company said in a press release.

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. It's also venturing into the home-based healthcare market with its recent acquisition of software company Workpath.

Workpath is a software platform that enables healthcare companies to offer on-demand, in-home care and diagnostic services with a simple application programming interface. Ro has leveraged the acquisition to integrate virtual and in-person care on its platform and offer these in-home capabilities to other healthcare companies, according to the company.

RELATED: In a competitive digital health market, startups move to add new medication delivery services

Since 2017, Ro has facilitated more than 6 million digital healthcare visits in nearly every county in the U.S., including 98% of primary care deserts, according to the company.

The company also launched an in-home COVID-19 vaccination program. Ro is working with New York state’s Department of Health to administer COVID-19 vaccinations to eligible New Yorkers directly in their homes. The program aims to help vulnerable populations, including the elderly, disabled and homebound, that face logistical challenges accessing vaccination sites in New York.

Ro also is partnering with Quest Diagnostics, which operates more than 2,200 locations nationwide, to process its lab tests. The partnership marks the first diagnostic services provider to collaborate with Ro to help patients manage chronic conditions through virtual and in-home care.

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

Reitano told Bloomberg that going public was a question of when, not if. Ro competitor Hims & Hers went public in January via a blank check deal that values the company at about $1.6 billion.

Hemant Taneja, managing partner at General Catalyst, co-founder of Livongo and a Ro investor, said: “What Zach and his team have been able to build in less than four years is nothing short of amazing. That this company was started from a place of personal challenge has guided the team to truly rethink healthcare experiences through a patient-centric lens. The team has continuously upleveled their thinking along the way and, as a result, they've got the potential to create an outsized positive impact on how we all access healthcare both via the internet and at home."
 
Ro recently partnered with healthcare artificial intelligence company Gauss to offer Gauss’ smartphone-powered, at-home COVID-19 rapid antigen tests on its platform upon Food and Drug Administration emergency use authorization.