Ro started with erectile dysfunction drugs. Now it’s a $1.5B telehealth powerhouse.

Ro has built its telehealth powerhouse on generic drugs. With its acquisition of Workpath, it’s leveling up to in-home visits.


December 17, 2020

In building its Everything Store empire, Amazon started with one product: books.

Ro — a $1.5B digital health powerhouse that offers a telehealth platform from doctor appointments to pharmaceuticals delivery — was also founded with only one (slightly different) product: erectile dysfunction drugs.

Since its 2017 launch, Ro has added generic drug delivery for women’s health (Rory), smoking cessation (Zero), and weight loss (Plenity).

Of all the money poured into telehealth this year…

… Ro received the single biggest funding round, $200m in July, according to Pitchbook data cited by Forbes.

Ro recently took some of that sweet dinero and acquired Workpath, a software platform that facilitates in-home visits.

Workpath started as a fleet of phlebotomists (people who draw blood) but pivoted once the startup realized its real secret sauce was its in-home scheduling and dispatch technology.

The generic drug industry has few barriers to entry

In fact, one of Ro’s direct competitors — Hims (profiled by Trends) — has plans to go public via a SPAC. Unlike other telehealth players, these businesses are “cash pay” and don’t accept insurance per Forbes.

Workpath brings a potential moat to Ro’s digital health business, coming with 16 employees and the experience of booking 100k in-person visits, a tougher logistical challenge than shipping pills.

The new revenue stream can’t happen fast enough for Ro, especially as Big Dick Bezos Amazon just added a new product to its Everything Store: a pharmacy.

Daily briefings, straight to your inbox

Business and tech news in 5 minutes or less

Join over 1 million people who read The Hustle

Psst

How'd Bezos build a billion dollar empire?

In 1994, Jeff Bezos discovered a shocking stat: Internet usage grew 2,300% per year.

Data shows where markets are headed.

And that’s why we built Trends — to show you up-and-coming market opportunities about to explode. Interested?

Join us, it's free.

Look, you came to this site because you saw something cool. But here’s the deal. This site is actually a daily email that covers the important news in business, tech, and culture.

So, if you like what you’re reading, give the email a try.

If you don’t like it, unsubscribe any time. Privacy policy.