Ro, an erectile dysfunction startup, raised $88m to help you quit your smoking habit

Erectile dysfunction startup, Ro, has raised $88m to launch a ‘Quit Kit,’ to help cigarette smokers kick the cycle, but is the price actually worth it?


September 19, 2018

Spoiler alert: Smoking is bad for you. With 22.5% of all adults bangin’ heats on the reg, it’s the most prevalent addiction worldwide and the cause of disease for more than 16m Americans.

Now, a New York-based telehealth startup, known for selling ED medication online, has raised $88m to launch a new product to help people quit smoking. 

Ro rolled out Zero, a $129 “Quit Kit” that contains a month’s prescription of the cessation medication bupropion, nicotine gum, and — of course — a progress tracking app designed to keep quitters motivated.

The startup formerly known as ‘Roman’

Roman was founded 11 months ago,  raising $3m in 2017 (back when it had only 5 employees) to launch as an online ED medication platform.

Today,  according to TechCrunch, the newly renamed ‘Ro’ (cuz it ain’t just for “man” anymore) has grown to 70 employees and a revenue run-rate in the “10s of millions” — up a whopping 720% since January.

Investors see Zero as a sure bet, but doctors… not so much

Many medical professionals have pointed out that the $129 Quit Kit is fairly expensive compared to other alternatives, and they don’t take insurance.

Forbes notes that, under the Affordable Care Act, most health insurance plans are required to cover at least 3 months of an FDA-approved smoking cessation medication.

What Ro really sells is convenience

Nobody wants to talk to their doctor about the sniffles, let alone erectile woes, and with Ro’s cloud based services, Zero’s biggest selling point is that people can do all of this from their computer.

According to CEO Zachariah Reitano, no one has ever come out with a product that provides both the medication and behavioral therapy for quitting cigs. Until now.

With Zero, smokers get everything they need to help curb their habit all at once, so they can focus on the true challenge: Not putting the cancer stick in the mouth hole.

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