Truepill turns to in-home lab testing with $75M in new funding

Direct-to-consumer health company Thirty Madison raises $47M

Business-to-business digital health startup Truepill is expanding to offer lab testing. The company, which manages shipping and pharmacy fulfillment for direct-to-consumer brands like Hims and Nurx, recently closed a $75 million series C round.
Co-founder and President Sid Viswanathan said the goal from the start was to offer pharmacy, telehealth and diagnostics for its partners.
“When you look at those three components collectively, we’ve always felt that 80% of healthcare could be done in a digital setting,” he said in a phone interview.
Truepill currently owns and operates six pharmacies across the U.S. Its business is designed so that companies can make API calls directly into its system for a medication to be sent from one of its facilities to a patient’s home.
Recently, the company expanded its behind-the-scenes services to telehealth. But instead of hiring its own physicians, Truepill stitched together a network of partners.  It’s taking a similar approach to lab testing.
“When you think about diagnostics, it should be as simple as I want to request a fertility test to go to this patient’s home,” Viswanathan said. “We plan to do this across the range of hundreds of different lab test types delivered at your doorstep.”
Truepill plans to launch this new service before the end of the year. It will offer everything from general wellness tests to common diagnostic tests, such as colorectal cancer screenings.
Viswanathan said lab tests were part of the plan because they’re such a critical factor in managing many chronic conditions. Though Truepill started its business with lower-risk areas, such as managing medications for hair loss, he said this new capability should help its partners cover more chronic diseases.
“This allows us to tackle a much broader range of therapy areas and disease states,” he said.
The $75 million in new funding will be used to build out this service. Oak HC/FT led the funding round, with participation from existing investors Optum Ventures, TI Platform Management, Sound Ventures and Y Combinator.
“We’re thrilled to be working with Truepill as they advance their bold vision, expand their platform and shape the future of healthcare,” Annie Lamont a managing partner at Oak HC/FT, said in a news release. “Their unique API-driven ecosystem is revolutionizing the way we think about patient care and the role of technology in creating a healthcare experience that endures.”
Since Truepill was started in 2016, the company has made a name working with direct-to-consumer health startups. But Viswanathan sees an opportunity to work with more traditional healthcare companies, too.
After the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, Truepill has spent a lot of time working with health plans who are looking to bring its capabilities to their customers. Since Optum joined as an investor last year, that effort will likely continue.
“If I were to summarize, the biggest ‘aha moment’ for us 12 to 18 months ago was, yes our infrastructure has served some of these direct to consumer companies that we’ve come to know. But our core infrastructure and the way we’ve built things also applies to traditional healthcare,” he said. “It’s opened up a huge number of opportunities.”
Photo credit: Getty Images, photo_chaz
Correction: A previous version of this article misstated Sid Viswanathan’s title. He is co-founder and president.

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