The news: Direct-to-consumer (D2C) telehealth and wellness company Ro scored $150 million from existing investors, pushing its valuation to $7 billion, per Bloomberg. The company also announced the launch of Ro Derm, a digital clinic for skincare treatment.
Ro wants to become more unified: The D2C giant has been on an acquisition spree over the past year to bring new treatment areas in-house, and now it’s focused on making it easier for patients to access all these services in one place online.
A prediction we got right: Earlier this year, we predicted Ro would roll out a mobile app to keep up with competitors like Hims & Hers.
In January, Hims & Hers announced its new mobile app was available in the iOS App Store, giving its 500,000 subscription members access to its wellness products and services like easy scheduling for telehealth appointments.
At the time, we posited Ro could launch a similar app to boost loyalty and engagement with its brand (since most consumers prefer shopping on an app rather than a web browser).
A major barrier to customer acquisition: Data reveals many consumers prefer scheduling a telehealth visit with a traditional provider rather than a direct-to-consumer brand.
What can D2C players do to reel in customers opting for traditional healthcare? We could see more entrants like Ro, Hims & Hers, and Thirty Madison boast low costs and partner with an existing health system to integrate themselves into the funnel consumers enter when seeking out care.
For one, a top advantage many D2C platforms like Ro have over telehealth visits with traditional providers is its low-cost services.
Further, companies like Ro don’t have the mindshare of healthcare entities—and consumers don’t always start with a Google Search or an app marketplace when they’re seeking out care. This usually starts with the payer or provider network.
Partnering with an established health system could help companies like Ro grow their network with care providers consumers are already conducting telehealth visits with.