New funding, same mission

Written by Zachariah Reitano 

Written by Zachariah Reitano 

last updated: Feb 15, 2022

4 min read

At Ro, we believe that most of the problems in our healthcare system stem from one single underlying cause: our healthcare system does not incentivize building for patients. Some may disagree and that’s a good thing. There should be people trying to fix our healthcare system in different ways. But that core belief is what’s behind Ro’s vision and mission, which guide everything we build.

Our vision, the future we’d like to create, is a patient-centric healthcare system that radically improves life for every one of us. And our mission, our approach, is to revolutionize healthcare by building accessible, impactful, and trusted care that people want. In any other industry, you wouldn’t have to say the last part out loud “that people want.” But in healthcare, building for the patient as the ultimate stakeholder is sadly not implied, required, or frequently even desired.

Our philosophy has often made people uncomfortable. Most doctor’s visits start with “What’s wrong? Why are you here?” So it took many by surprise when we started Ro by simply saying “If this is wrong, come here and let’s see if we can help.” Accessible, impactful, and trusted care that people want.

Since we launched, we’ve helped over 1.5M patients, facilitated over 8 million digital healthcare visits, and there is one Ro patient in nearly every single county in the entire United States.

In the last 12 months alone, we’ve helped more than 500,000 new patients, reached a milestone of over 150,000 in-home care appointments, administered several thousand vaccines to elderly, low-income, and homebound New Yorkers, launched Ro Mind for mental health, launched Ro Derm for skincare services, expanded into fertility with our acquisition of Modern Fertility, expanded our diagnostic capabilities with the acquisition of Kit, expanded from 4 to 10 pharmacies throughout the country, added a CLIA certified and CAP accredited lab to our vertically integrated infrastructure, and we’ve seen more than one in five patients use Ro for at least two or more products or services.

We’ve also started to open our infrastructure to enable other innovative healthcare companies to deliver superior patient experiences, with Kit for at-home diagnostics and Workpath for in-home care. We’ve been blown away by what our partners have built for patients — from helping with organ donation to cancer research to fertility to allergies to precision medicine.

We’re proud of the early foundations we’ve built. In less than five years, Ro has become the only company to combine nationwide telemedicine, in-home care, diagnostics, labs, and pharmacy services. We can handle everything from a doctor’s visit to an at-home lab test to an in-home care visit to prescription delivery for mental health, men’s health, metabolic health, women’s health, and skincare.

But there is still so much work to do for patients.

While we have fertility tests for people with ovaries, we don’t have male factor semen analysis. While we do have the ability to test a patient’s cholesterol, A1C, or testosterone, we can’t yet treat them. While we offer services for weight management, we can’t automatically track their progress with remote patient monitoring. We can’t do so much of what we want to do for patients and it won’t all happen tomorrow. We don’t even have a mobile app.

Yet 😉

That’s why I’m excited to announce that our existing investors have decided to further support Ro’s mission by investing $150M. The round was led by ShawSpring Partners, with participation from FirstMark Capital, General Catalyst, Seven Seven Six, BoxGroup, Altimeter Capital, Baupost Group, Initialized, TQ Ventures, and TCG.

To be clear, fundraising is not a goal worth celebrating in and of itself. It is a means to bring more of a company’s vision and mission into reality.

Over the 5 years of building Ro, there were times when we thought our motivation and link to our mission was so unique. I thought that because I, my sister, my mom and my dad had each had life threatening illness, my challenges with our healthcare system were rare. Then three months into Ro, Saman lost his father. I still remember walking into the conference room when he was on the phone and not knowing what was wrong but just knowing the only thing I could do was to give him one of my patented too-long-hugs he normally complains about. And just recently, Rob’s father had heart surgery. Rob was by his side every step of the way.

Ro’ers, and our patients, have taught us that our stories are not unique at all. In many ways, we’ve been extraordinarily lucky. Whether you’ve been a patient or a caregiver, whether life-threatening or simply trying to live a healthier life, we have all had more than our fair share of bad experiences with the existing healthcare system. We all know we can and we need to do better.

My dad is a doctor, and through all our health challenges he looked out for me and my family. So the one experience that I had, that in retrospect is extremely rare but should not be, was that my dad cared about my health in the service of my life. When your dad is your doctor, they care not just about your blood pressure, but that you’re happy. They don’t stop at knowing that your treatment is accessible, impactful and trusted. They also care about what you want. What you want to live a happy and fulfilling life, whatever that may mean for you.

That’s what we’re building at Ro. While we’re proud of the people we’ve helped, we have work to do. So much work to do. But we couldn’t be more excited to do it.

If that excites you as well, come join us. We’re hiring.